User fees and rates
User fees are paid by Calgarians (or visitors to Calgary) who use and benefit individually from certain City goods and services. Examples include transit fares, recreation passes and building permit fees. For the prices of current fees, please contact 311.
User fees are approved by Council as part of the service plan and budget process and are adjusted annually, if necessary, in response to changes in the local environment following the guidance of the User Fee and Subsidy Policy.
How we pay for services
Provincial legislation in Alberta currently provides municipalities with two primary sources of revenue: taxes and user fees. Whether citizens pay for a given service through taxes or user fees is determined through a process of assessing the individual and societal benefits of that service. Following the benefit assessment, each City service is funded in one of four ways.
Some services provided by The City are fully tax-supported, such as fire services, roads and local parks. These services benefit and are available to everyone.
Services, such as recreation and transit, that benefit both individuals and society as a whole are funded through a combination of user fees and taxes.
Services such as water, primarily benefit the individual using the service, so the full cost of providing the service is funded through user fees.
Licences, permits and approvals are used to regulate the use of or changes to private property, so the cost of these are paid by the individual(s) requiring the licence, permit or approval. Examples of these items include building and development permits, business and pet licences. *People who do not get the necessary licence, permit or approval can also be fined.