Calgary Minute: Vacancies Up, Spending Up, and Taxes Up

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

This Week In Calgary:

  • Welcome to the first Calgary Minute of 2020! We hope you all had a great holiday season and a Happy New Year. If you fell a little behind on Municipal news over the holidays, don't worry, we kept watching Council over the break and you can catch up via our Calgary Minute archive here.

  • Even though it's back to work for most people today, there will not be the typical Monday Council meeting. Sadly, that means we'll have to wait until January 13th to find out if any Councillor's New Year's Resolutions include tax cuts - don't hold your breath!

  • There will, however, be a meeting of the Council Compensation Review Committee on Tuesday. The Committee last met on December 4th and received a presentation from City Staff about Elected Official's compensation, benefits, pension, and other remunerations.

 

Last Week In Calgary:

  • Calgary's property values may have dropped 4%, but property taxes are going up for 2020 anyway. Council's budget decision to shift some of the property tax burden from businesses to homes is expected to result in a 7.5% hike for the typical homeowner this year. This is just one more sign of a broken tax system as City Hall has been on a spending spree for more than a decade and it's well past time to get spending in line.

  • While Calgary saw a slight improvement in occupancy rates in downtown offices over 2019, the latest figures suggest vacancies are climbing again. High office vacancy's downtown, and Council's unwillingness to get spending in check, have resulted in astronomical tax hikes. Worse yet, these high vacancy rates are ultimately just a symptom of high unemployment. 2020 is shaping up to be another tough year for Calgary businesses and residents.

  • Each year, columnist Rick Bell gives Council a grade, but after years of being ignored by elected officials, he's giving Calgarians an F instead. Poll-after-poll shows we're dissatisfied with City Hall, but we keep re-electing the same Councillors. If you're sick of being ignored and want to help us take back control in 2020, sign our petition, and share it with your friends and co-workers.


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