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Ward 1 - Sonya Sharp

First look: 2023-26 Service Plans & Budget

Yesterday, Council and the public were presented with City Administration's proposed 2023-2026 Service Plans and Budget for The City of Calgary. 

The Service Plans and Budget are The City's plan to fund and deliver services to Calgarians, along with capital investments, over the next four years. It also sets out how much revenue The City needs to collect, including through user fees and property taxes. 

From November 20-24, Council consider the proposed Service Plans and Budget and debate any changes or amendments. In preparation, Councillor Sharp will be carefully reviewing all of the information provided along with your feedback. 

The proposed Service Plans and Budget include new spending on Calgarians' top priorities: public safety (including police and fire services), public transit, streets, and a number of other services that Calgarians depend on every day. 

Councillor Sharp's first look

Administration's proposed budget largely reflects the priorities I've heard from residents of Ward 1. Unfortunately, it also proposes a tax increase for most Calgarians: under the proposed budget The City will collect an average of 3.7% more in taxes over the next four years. 

Calgarians are struggling with the cost of living and inflation. I know that higher taxes are not what anyone needs right now. During budget deliberations, I'll be working hard to keep your taxes as low as we possibly can while continuing to deliver the services you depend on. 

I would really appreciate your feedback on your priorities for this budget. There are still tough choices ahead. Below, you can fill out my survey on the budget, make a written submission to all members of Council, or sign up to speak to Council on November 22

What does this mean for taxes?

You might have heard that Council can lower the tax rate because of assessment values of homes going up.

That’s only the partial truth and potentially misleading. The overall tax dollars The City collects does not change as a result of the assessment process.

In reality, what Administration has proposed is a 3.7% average increase over the next four years. Because single family homes went up in value more than condos and other property types, their increase is proposed to be roughly 5% in 2023.

We can control City spending and tax share between homeowners and businesses. We cannot control assessed values. We need to focus on the bottom line, not just part of a formula.

Assessed property values are determined by a City department and reflect market value for the purpose of fair and equitable tax distribution, using the legislated process outlined in the Municipal Government Act. Assessment collects real estate data from various sources including Alberta Land Titles and from property owners directly. Council does not have a role in determining the assessed values of property. That's why our focus is on the budget: the area directly within Council's control. 

Categories: Budget, General