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Improving Understanding of Municipal Finance Circumstances

Financial Task Force Recommendations Focus 1: Improving the Understanding of Municipal Finance Circumstances

Achieving success on the Financial Task Force recommendations is a significant effort by the whole corporation. Many have contributed their talents, knowledge and experience to assist in making sure the full benefit of the task force’s recommendations can be fully leveraged for the benefit of all Calgarians.  The highlights below showcase the collaborative work by teams across the organization to help strengthen The City’s financial system by implementing Financial Task Force recommendations.

Improving the understanding of municipal financial circumstances

The City’s Customer Service & Communications team has led a collaborative effort to respond to Financial Task Force recommendations by enhancing the approach to communications and establishing a cohesive financial narrative that connects The City’s annual financial cycle and key activities such as planning, budgeting, and taxes.

The financial narrative includes elements of service value, citizen opportunities for input, as well as continuous financial and process improvement initiatives to help demonstrate value and create awareness and understanding of The City’s annual financial cycle. The financial narrative continues to evolve and includes:

  • Updates to the web page provide a central place where citizens can learn about City Finances and how The City continues to work to ensure Calgarians receive good value for their property tax dollars.
  • The latest research on citizens’ views about living in Calgary, perceptions of the quality of life, attitudes towards City Administration and Council, and perspectives of City programs and services.
  • complete video series to increase awareness and understanding of citizen priorities, service plans and budgets, how we align our programs and services with citizen priorities, determining your share of property tax, and how property tax dollars are put to work to deliver value to Calgarians.
  • tax calculator that shows the year-over-year change in property taxes, a breakdown of how much of your property tax goes to the province, how much goes to The City, and how your City tax dollars are invested in services that make life better.
  • financial facts page that addresses myths and misconceptions about The City’s finances, programs and services.

Sustaining Calgary’s superior livability outcomes while maintaining competitive property tax rates

The Financial Task Force recommended The City further develop and sustain Calgary’s superior livability outcomes while having competitive residential and non-residential property taxes to achieve the goal of tax competitiveness.

The City is committed to meeting the needs of Calgarians in a fiscally responsible way to help maintain some of the lowest property tax and utility rates compared to other Canadian cities, while also sustaining high scores on livability and quality of life. These factors – livability and tax competitiveness – play a vital role in attracting skilled labour and capital investments in Calgary.

The City measures its performance relative to other Canadian cities on an ongoing basis to identify where we are doing well and where we can improve. We also monitor how we compare against international cities based on various world ranking studies throughout the year. This knowledge strengthens The City’s accountability and enhances transparency. Ongoing improvements to municipal measurement and benchmarking are underway in collaboration with other cities to enhance tax competitiveness.  Visit to learn how Calgary compares to other cities.