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Back  |  October 25, 2018  | 


This morning’s Calgary Herald article - Residential taxpayers may face higher rates to blunt soaring commercial taxes only tells part of my interview. I think it’s important to add the omitted parts to give the fullcontext.

What is missing?

The City is reducing operating costs on an ongoing basis.  Frequent Zero Based Reviews continue to find efficiencies and cost savings. Over $500M has been reduced in the operating budget compared to the last 4-year budget cycle– this is an almost 21% reduction of the operating budget.

Staff reductions have occurred and senior management has had no wages increases or bonuses for the last few years. Non-union employees have had reduced wage increases compared to those for union employees. Wage negotiations with the 3 major unions for the new 4-year budget period have been underway since January of 2018 with no agreement to date.

Dealing with the non-residential tax issues requires a multi-tiered approach, not simply a complete shift from non-residential to residential. Everyone is feeling the pressure – residents with their property taxes, and businesses with taxes, wage increases and income tax increases. It is about delivering services at the best value for Calgarians.  This becomes a challenge, as the City already faces downloaded costs from other levels of government, but as the “front line” the City and City Council are the focus of most of the attention.

Unfortunately, this is not a simple one line comment and it requires a creative strategic approach with specific recommendations, not generic rhetoric. All the above issues need to be addressed in the upcoming "One Calgary" 2019-2022 Budget Deliberations week in late November. Stay tuned.

Ward Sutherland

Councillor Ward 1

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Categories: Councillor; Budget

This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.​