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Priorities and Finance Committee Nov. 6, 2018

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The Nov. 6, 2018, Priorities and Finance Committee meeting included:

2019 Projected Tax Shift Non-Residential Properties

In 2017 and 2018, programs were introduced to limit the effects of a redistribution of municipal property taxes. This redistribution was due to a decrease in downtown office property values and meant that other businesses in the same tax class, mostly industrial and retail properties primarily located outside the downtown core, would have seen significant increases in property taxes. These programs limited the increase in 2017 and 2018 municipal non-residential property taxes for businesses to 5 per cent. Due to the continued decrease in values of downtown office properties, another redistribution is expected. Committee directed the Assessment & Tax Working Group to present its final report to Committee no later than Q1, 2019, along with leaving Administration with several options to consider. Committee also directed administration to: convene a task force comprised of internal and external stakeholders to develop a Downtown Recovery Strategy and return to Committee with the recommended membership, framework and terms of reference no later than Q1 2019; and convene a Financial Task Force comprised of internal and external experts to develop a strategy on short term mitigation; long term solutions; and revenue options to improve financial resiliency; and return to Committee with the recommended membership, framework, and terms of reference no later than Q1 2019.

2018 Triennial Reserve Review Report

Administration presented a report on the Triennial Reserve Review and the process performed by an Administrative Reserve Review Committee. This review was brought forward based on an audit of The City’s Financial Reserves in 2009 and the recommendation of a Triennial Reserve Review process in which every reserve will be reviewed at least once every three years. A total of 20 reserves were reviewed in 2018 as part of this report. Committee approved the recommended changes to the reserve funds reviewed in 2018, as well as the list of reserves to be reviewed in 2019. This report will go forward to Council for approval.

Actively Developing Communities in Keystone Hills Area Structure Plan – Growth Management Overlay Removal

Administration presented a report to amend the Keystone Hills Area Structure Plan to remove a portion of the Growth Management Overlay. This would allow for more development in the communities of Livingston and Carrington in the north central part of Calgary. Much of the funding for this development is expected to be included in the One Calgary 2019-2022 Service Plans and Budgets. Funding sources are expected to include off-site levies and the indicative tax rate for actively developing communities (approved by Council in April 2018). This report is being brought forward ahead of One Calgary 2019-2022 to allow time for the Growth Management Overlay bylaw amendment to be advertised. Committee approved the report and it will go forward to council on December 10, 2018.

Council Innovation Fund Application- On Demand Transit Service Pilot

Councillors Gondek and Keating requested an investment of $338,000 from the Council Innovation Fund for an On-Demand Transit Service pilot project. A review of new technologies, best practices, and pilot projects in other municipalities has suggested that an on-demand service model may be able to provide better service at a lower cost in areas, or time periods, with lower customer demand. This application proposes offering on-demand transit service in newer communities where transit demand is presently insufficient. A pilot project is being recommended to determine if this on-demand model will work in Calgary prior to making large investments in capital and process change. Committee approved the report and it will go forward to council. Committee also directed Administration to report back to them indicating how the money was spent and outcomes of the projects no later than Q2 2020.

Council Innovation Fund Application - One Calgary Policy Review

Councillor Demong requested a withdrawal of $525,000 from the Council Innovation Fund for the One Calgary Policy Review pilot project. The pilot project would acquire an independent consultant to develop a framework for reviewing Council and Administration policies. The goal would be to establish a process to review policies from a customer service point of view to ensure they enhance and not bog down processes for citizens. Committee approved this application to go forward to Council for approval and Administration to report back to PFC indicating how the money was spent and outcomes of the projects no later than Q3 2020.

Council News in Brief is an informal summary of highlights from Calgary City Council meetings. The City Clerk provides the complete and formal documentation of Council’s meetings including agendas, minutes and video.

More Council News in Brief – highlights from Council and committee meetings​​

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