Calgary Minute: 12.5% Tax Increases, 14% Tax Increases, and 18% Tax Increases
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics.
This Week In Calgary:
Are your property taxes going up by the 0.7% claimed by some councillors, the 7.5% in the newspaper headlines, the 8.99% we've reported, or even 12.5%? We don't blame you if you're feeling confused - there has been a lot of incorrect information floating around about the Budget. We don't blame the journalists either, as even Councillors have struggled to get a straight answer from City Staff! That's why we will be releasing BudgetTracker later this week - a report that will bring you the Budget facts, based on our more than six years of experience breaking down Calgary Council's bureaucratic jargon. You can donate to this project here, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates.
After a break for the budget, Council Committee meetings resume this week. On Monday there will be a Foothills Athletic Park Redevelopment Advisory Committee meeting. On Tuesday there will be a Priorities and Finance Committee meeting. On Wednesday there will be a Standing Policy Committee on Planning and Urban Development meeting. On Thursday there will be a Calgary Planning Commission meeting. Lastly, on Friday there will be a Business Advisory Committee meeting.
- It's officially December, and the City will be putting on a variety of events to celebrate the Holidays, such as Breakfast with Santa. You can get more details about all the events on the City's website here. Your tax dollars pay for this stuff, so try and get your money's worth!
Last Week In Calgary:
- Council debated an adjustment to the multi-year budget they initially set back in November 2018. A large number of amendments were proposed that would have helped keep spending under control but, unfortunately, every single one of them was voted down by the majority of council. In the end, spending will increase by a bit more than 1.5% next year, but taxes will go up by significantly more than that. This is primarily due to the City's "creative" accounting where City Staff admitted that even a 0% spending increase would have seen Council spend $55 million more in 2020 than in 2019.
- So, how much will your taxes go up by? A lot! The exact amount obviously depends on any changes to your property value, but an average residential home can expect a tax increase of about 12.5%! This is a combination of this year's 2.2% tax increase (1.5% of which will be delayed to next year, via a rebate), 6.8% from the tax shift from businesses to residents, and last year's 3.5% tax increase (which was delayed to this year).
- For Business owners, the news is (somehow!) even worse. Despite the tax shift, businesses can still expect double-digit tax increase! Taxes for strip mall retail, for example, are going up 14%, while neighbourhood shopping centre rates will go up 18%. Council still doesn't get that tax and spend ways are driving away businesses and jobs.
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