Calgary Minute: Financial Audit, Tax Revenue, and Garbage Privatization
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
There is an Audit Committee meeting this morning rather than a regular Council meeting. Councillors will review multiple reports including the 2019 Annual Investment Report, the City of Calgary 2019 Annual Report, the 2019 External Auditor Year-End Report, and more. A significant portion of this meeting will be held in secret.
The Audit Committee will also receive a COVID-19 Financial Update. Early estimates suggest the cost of the pandemic to the City of Calgary will be $350-$400 million. This is in large part because the City has maintained spending levels while the lockdown has reduced revenue significantly.
- Tuesday's Priorities and Finance Committee meeting, Wednesday's Standing Policy Committee on Transportation and Transit meeting, and Thursday's Green Line Committee and Foothills Athletic Park Redevelopment Advisory Committee meetings are all cancelled.
Last Week In Calgary:
While COVID-19 has obviously reduced the user-fee portion of Calgary's revenue, property taxes should remain mostly unaffected. Unlike income taxes, property taxes are owed regardless of whether or not a business turns a profit or a resident has a job so, in many ways, City budgets should be in a better spot than those of other levels of government. It remains to be seen whether Calgary will implement policies that will hurt or help our economic recovery, but based on Council's preferred policy of overtaxing businesses, and delusions that they can spend your money better than you can, it doesn't look promising.
- You might think that a pandemic (and the associated demolishing of the City's budget) might give Cycle Track advocates pause, but you'd be wrong. They're now pushing for a Cycle Track to be added to 20th Avenue NW, based on the 42nd Avenue SE pathway. Even in a crisis, there's always someone happy to spend other peoples' money!
- After a vote of the Utilities and Corporate Services Committee, Calgary will conduct a test of a partially privatized garbage collection service. Do we really need to spend 3 years testing whether the private sector is more efficient than the government? We all know the answer to that already. The City should privatize 100% of the collection NOW and allocate the savings towards reducing taxes!
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