Calgary Minute: Budget Debates, Tax Hikes, and Spending Hikes
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics.
This Week In Calgary:
The battle over the city budget kicks off at Council at 9:30am today, with debate likely to last all week. Citizens have the option to speak at the Council Meeting, but the City is requiring people to pre-register their interest in doing so with the City Clerk’s Office at 403-268-5861.
Council will be considering three spending scenarios - a 0% increase, a 1.5% increase and a 3% increase. This is the first time ever that a spending freeze is even an option, but a spending cut is what is really needed.
- On the tax side, things are much worse, and Council is already trying to muddy the waters. The problem is that even under the 0% spending increase scenario, your residential taxes will be going up 6.8% Yes, you read that right. That's why we need a spending cut, not a spending freeze!
Last Week In Calgary:
- With the budget looking bleak, three Councillors proposed a 5% cut across all city departments, except essential services. They estimate that this will result in a $50 million spending cut, and that if city workers agree to take a proposed 5% wage cut that will save another $50 million. Other councillors called it "ludicrous" and "impossible".
- The Canadian Taxpayers Federation highlighted some worrying statistics just in time for budget-week. Between 2007 and 2017, the city of Calgary’s revenue per-person increased by 41%, mainly driven by increases in municipal property taxes. Had councillors merely held spending increases to inflation and population growth between 2008 and 2016, they would have saved $4.6 billion.
Both Councillor Davidson and Councillor Chahal wrote op-eds giving their views on the upcoming adjustments to the City of Calgary’s operating and capital budgets.
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