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Priorities and Finance Committee, May 14, 2019

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The May 14, 2019, Priorities and Finance Committee meeting included:

Economic Strategy Update

Committee received a report for information on the Council-approved Calgary in the New Economy: An economic strategy for Calgary. This report provided an update on implementation of the refreshed Strategy since the last progress report to the Priorities and Finance Committee in 2018 June. The refreshed Strategy, stewarded by Calgary Economic Development Ltd., is a roadmap that guides collaborative economic development activities in Calgary across government, industry and educational institutions, and establishes shared priorities. To build on the collective action and momentum of the refresh process and improve collaboration and integration of actions between The City, community, and Calgary Economic Development, the Leadership and Implementation Team was reconvened with enhanced representation from the private sector and stakeholders. Four areas of focus Leadership Teams were established to lead Talent, Innovation, Place, and Business Friendly. This will go forward to Council for information. 

Streamlining the Cost of Municipal Government

Committee received a presentation from Mayor Nenshi and City Manager, Glenda Cole on Streamlining the Cost of Municipal Government.  The presentation and report provided an overview of the journey that The City has been on, and continues to be on, to transform the way we deliver services, streamline costs and contribute to economic recovery. The report is part of a series, including “Prioritizing next steps to streamline the cost of municipal government” (summary below) as well as an update to Council on 2019 July 16.

Prioritizing next steps to streamline the cost of municipal government

Committee received a report outlining the challenges Administration is facing to meet Council’s expectations of reducing costs below what was approved in the 2019-2022 Service Plans and Budgets in November 2018 through the general directions of:

  • Examining the scope of services and sub-services provided by The City;
  • Continuing to deliver efficiencies (i.e. the same or better service level at a lower cost), through optimizing operations and reducing waste; and
  • Immediate budget reductions.

Numerous amendments to Administrations recommendations were made and approved.   See official meeting minutes for a detailed account. 

Assessment and Tax Circumstances Report

Committee received a report which included the applicable 2017 and 2018 taxes accrued on property and business accounts that meet Administration’s criteria for prior year tax cancellation. This report also includes the applicable 2017 and 2018 municipal property taxes for non-profit organizations that applied and qualified for tax cancellations under the Non-Profit Tax Mitigation Policy. In some cases, these tax cancellations address properties that were taxed in error due to issues that arose such as the timing of when information was received, incorrect data, technical and human error and timing of appeals. This report is presented to Council twice annually and this is the first report this year. This will go forward to Council on May 27 2019 with the recommendation that Council under the authority of section 347 of the Municipal Government Act: (1) Cancel property and business taxes for the amounts listed in Attachment 1 of the report (2) Cancel municipal property taxes for the qualifying non-profit organizations for the amounts listed in Attachment 2 of the report. 


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.

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