Calgary Minute: Tax Hikes, Cancelled Events, and Even More Spending
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
On Monday there will be a Combined Meeting of Council which will review the Corporate Public Art Program, City Pensions, the future of Stephen Ave, an end of 2019 accounting report, a series of financial audits, and perhaps most importantly, the 8.9% tax increase for 2020.
- The 8.9% tax increase is going ahead despite calls from almost everyone to cancel the tax increase entirely, due to the current economic crisis. You can expect Council to cut the 8.9% increase back down to 7.5% after the provincial government delayed their own share of the increase, but we wouldn't be surprised if some on Council try to take credit for even that reduction. To add insult to injury, in a classic Calgary Council move, the document they will be debating hasn't even been publicly released yet!
- All of the other meetings planned for next week have been cancelled, including the Council Compensation Review Committee, the SPC on Community and Protective Services, and the Gas, Power and Telecommunications Committee.
Last Week In Calgary:
- As 'Social Distancing' efforts continue, the city announced that all City organized public events up until June 30th are cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes Calgary Flames and Stampeders games, but the Calgary Stampede is still unaffected, at least for now.
- Meanwhile, the City has temporarily laid off 1,200 workers. The layoffs mostly affect arena and athletic park staff, aquatics and fitness staff, temporary, on-call, and casual workers.
- Finally, the City is apparently creating a list of projects for them to spend money on after the pandemic is over. Isn't it amazing how what they want to spend money on after the crisis is exactly the same as what they wanted to spend money on before? Remember: every dollar spent to "stimulate" the economy is a dollar they tax out of the economy first.
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