Calgary Minute: Committee Appointments, Budgets, and Tax Hikes

Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics.

This Week In Calgary:

  • On Monday morning, Council will be holding an Organizational Meeting, primarily to deal with appointments to Boards, Commissions, and Committees. Almost all of the meeting will be kept confidential because Calgary Council really prioritizes transparency. 

  • On Monday afternoon, there will be a Special Meeting of Council to discuss the 2019 Provincial Budget. The City hasn't provided a preview of what exactly will be discussed, but you can bet Council will be trying to blame the province for their own budgeting mess.

  • On Tuesday, there will be a Standing Policy Committee on Community and Protective Services meeting which will be discussing water fluoridation.

 

Last Week In Calgary:

  • Last Thursday the new provincial government released their first budget. Despite ample notice from the Minister of Municipal Affairs, making it clear that the province would expect cities to learn to live with less, the Mayor still managed to feign surprise upon learning that the budget calls for modest reductions in municipal transfers.

  • Never one to pass over an opportunity to blame others for rising taxes and an abysmal financial record, the Mayor claims that property taxes will go up as a result of the Alberta Provincial Budget. Yes, the budget includes some modest reductions in transfers to Calgary but, as we've explained in recent weeks, property taxes were set to increase anyway. For several years, the City has significantly raised taxes but used reserve funding to cover some of the increase, hiding the full hike from citizens. This year, however, the reserves are gone, so there can be no rebate, meaning that even *if* tax rates stay the same (yeah right!) taxes will go up.

  • We also learned last week that the province will not fund the X Games in Calgary for 2020, with the hosting being likely delayed to 2021. While budget concerns were likely a factor for the province, the entire deal was also contingent on the City finding a major corporate sponsor, which it has so far not been able to do.


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