Calgary Minute: STR Survey, Land Release, and Commercial Property Taxes
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
There will be a Community Development Committee meeting on Tuesday at 9:30 am. The Committee will discuss recommending the creation of a Council Advisory Committee on Housing. There is one confidential item on the agenda entitled “West Hillhurst Civic Centre Building Upgrades for National accessArts Centre”.
The Executive Committee will meet on Wednesday at 9:30 am. On the agenda are amendments to the Non-Profit Tax Mitigation Policy to make eligibility requirements more clear. The Committee will receive a briefing on the recent “activations” along Stephen Avenue - $432,355 was spent on several projects, including gardens, additional seating, and creative wayfinding.
- On Thursday, at 9:30 am, the Emergency Management Committee will meet. No agenda is available for this meeting yet. Also on Thursday, at 1:00 pm, there will be a meeting of the Calgary Planning Commission. Several land use amendments are on the agenda.
Last Week In Calgary:
Mayor Jyoti Gondek raised concerns about the City's property tax split between commercial and residential properties, emphasizing the need to shift taxes away from local businesses and onto residents instead. Gondek said Calgary's current tax ratio, which is 4.6 to 1 for commercial to residential, is far less business-friendly compared to other Canadian cities, which have ratios of more like 2 to 1 or 2.5 to 1. Gondek warned that if the ratio reaches 5 to 1, provincial intervention could occur. We agree - of course - that taxes on Calgary businesses are too high, but the solution isn't to just shift those taxes onto residents! The solution is to cut spending so that the City can cut taxes for businesses and residents alike.
The City released parcels of land to three non-profit, affordable housing providers to facilitate the construction of 104 housing units in three communities. The homes will be built on land in Bowness, Erlton, and Parkdale as part of a plan to alleviate the housing crisis. The partner agencies are the Trellis Society for Community Impact, Calgary Dream Centre, and Liberty Housing Organization. The City plans to release up to 10 parcels of land for affordable housing every two years.
- The City, in partnership with the University of Calgary, launched a public consultation to gather insights on short-term rentals (STRs). This initiative is part of a multi-year research initiative and a broader effort to develop STR policies. Some cities - like Vancouver - have restricted STRs to address affordable housing concerns. The first phase of the public engagement involves a survey to learn more about Calgarians' experiences with STRs and their impact on communities, with the second phase planned for 2024, leading to a final report in December 2024. You can provide input online until December 31st, 2023.
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