Calgary Minute: Green Line, Tax Hikes, and more Green Line
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
There's only one meeting happening at City Hall this week - a Priorities and Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday. This meeting will include an in-camera portion to select the Citizen-Led Selection Committee for the Integrity Commissioner. With so little else happening, the news will probably be filled with more Tax and Green Line revelations, just like this week's newsletter - you've been warned!
- Efforts to convince the City to rethink the Green Line LRT will continue throughout next week, as Council gets ready for the final vote at the Combined Council Meeting on Monday, June 15th. If you haven't signed our petition to Cancel The Green Line, you can do so here. We easily hit our initial goal of 2,000 signatures, so we've raised it to 5,000!
- We also haven't given up on convincing council to cancel this year's massive 7.5% property tax hike. Hiking taxes during the recession was bad enough, but doubling down during a pandemic shows a special level of ignorance to the current plight of the average Calgarian. We'll be working with the Alberta Institute and other local groups over the next few weeks to fight back against these constant tax hikes. You can tell Council you don't support their decision by signing the petition here.
Last Week In Calgary:
- Our Executive Director, Megan McCaffrey, co-wrote an article with the Canadian Taxpayer Federation's Franco Terrazzano correcting the misleading information that was included in a letter the Mayor enclosed with Calgarians property tax bills. The key takeaway: taxes don't increase like this when there are good fiscal stewards at the helm. Please give it a read and a share to help correct the record.
- Common Sense Calgary has been following the debate on the Green Line for more than 5 years. Last Monday was the last opportunity for the public to have their say before the final Council vote on June 15th. You can watch the entire 19-hour meeting here, or skip ahead to between 6:53:40 and 6:58:40 to see our presentation, and between 7:04:50 and 7:14:15 for our responses to Councillor's questions.
- In perhaps the perfect encapsulation of the City's approach to this project so far, they waited until after the Green Line Committee had voted to proceed to release the full details of the project's finances to date. After analyzing the documents we broke the news that the City has, for years, been excluding the debt financing costs from the "total" cost of the project. This seemingly deliberate omission increases the total cost of the Green Line yet again - this time from $4.9 billion to $5.5 billion! That's the third budget increase already, and they haven't even started construction yet!
Common Sense Calgary doesn't accept any government funding and never will. We think you should be free to choose, for yourself, which organizations to support. If you're in a position to contribute financially, you can make a donation here.
If you're not in a position to donate, we understand, but if you appreciate our work, you can help by spreading our message. Please email this post to your friends, share it on Facebook or Twitter, and help make sure every Calgarian knows what's really going on at City Hall.