Calgary Minute: Task Force Bait And Switch, Bees, Tax Protests, and an Olympics Report
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics.
This Week In Calgary:
- If you thought council was going to take a serious look at spending cuts after last week's meeting, you got tricked. At Monday's meeting, council will create a Financial Task Force that will investigate "new revenue options that can work toward improving financial resiliency for The City" - ie more taxes and more spending. The Task Force is explicitly barred from considering any spending cuts.
- Councillor Farkas will propose a motion to publicize council votes on high-profile issues on the City's website homepage. Will any Councillor dare oppose a transparency initiative like this? Our bet is, yes.
- Meanwhile, Councillor Farrell is talking about Bees.
Last Week In Calgary:
Several hundred business owners and concerned Calgarians rallied on the steps of City Hall against drastic business property tax increases. Many at the rally also pushed back against some Councillors who are trying to use the business tax crisis as an excuse to raise residential property taxes. Let's be clear - City Hall needs to cut spending in order to cut taxes for both businesses and residents.
- After the protest, Council held an emergency meeting to deal with the exorbitant tax increases. In the end, Council voted for $60 million in cuts from 2019 spending, but before you celebrate, remember that that's just a smaller spending increase, not an actual reduction in spending. We live-tweeted the entire meeting, which you can re-read here.
- In what is hopefully the end of the Calgary Olympic bid saga, the City finally released the long-overdue report on the bid and details on how much taxpayer money was actually spent. For months, Nenshi has argued that the city should keep any left-over money from the bid, arguing that the money was originally intended for sport and recreation planning in the city. Thankfully, he didn't get his way.
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