Calgary Minute: Residential Taxes, Affordable Housing, and a Common Sense Event
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
The Community Development Committee will meet on Wednesday at 9:30 am and the Calgary Planning Commission is scheduled to meet on Thursday at 1:00 pm. No agenda is available for either meeting yet.
Today is Family Day! We hope you get to enjoy some extra time off today. Some ice rinks are offering free public skating at designated times, and on-street parking is also free today. City services, including public transit, do have some changes to their operating hours on account of the holiday. Click here for a list.
- We are hosting a Pints & Politics event on Thursday in conjunction with our friends at the Alberta Institute. Please join us for some casual drinks and an opportunity for everyone to get together with like-minded Albertans to chat about politics. There's a lot going on, so there will be plenty of conversation topics! The event will be held at Jamesons Pub from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Please RSVP here.
Last Week In Calgary:
City Council voted to maintain the current split between residential and non-residential property taxes. Since 2019, 52% of the tax burden has been borne by residential properties and 48% by non-residential. Administration presented three options to Council - status quo, or two options to shift the burden to residential taxes. A close 8-7 vote maintained the status quo for the year's budget, and Mayor Jyoti Gondek was not pleased. Gondek said that Council had an opportunity to do the right thing, but chose not to. She noted that there are fewer business owners paying taxes than homeowners, yet shouldering more of the tax burden. Along with Gondek, Councillors Gian-Carlo Carra, Evan Spencer, Jasmine Mian, Courtney Walcott, Kourtney Penner, and Peter Demong voted to increase taxes on homeowners.
Calgary has announced $13.7 million in funding for three initiatives aimed at building more affordable housing and helping people get situated in existing rentals. The first is a $6 million capital grant program for urban Indigenous housing organizations and projects, the second is $7.5 million in capital grants for non-profits looking to build housing on three new parcels of land, and the third is a $200,000 community-based program that will help people pay expenses such as damage deposits and first month’s rent when moving into housing. The funding was approved during the budget process and is ready to roll out immediately.
- Two Calgary politicians announced their retirement from political life. Rajan Sawhney, MLA for Calgary-North East, said she remains a strong supporter of Premier Danielle Smith, but will not run in the provincial election in May. At the federal level, Ron Liepert, MP for Calgary Signal Hill, will step down at the next federal election.
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