Calgary Minute: Tax Hikes, Green Line, and more Tax Hikes
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
- If you haven't yet signed our petition calling for the Green Line to be cancelled, you can do so here. If you're not yet convinced, the City finally released a cost-benefit analysis of the project right before the vote (something we've been calling for for years), and you can read our assessment of that report here. Spoiler alert: It's way worse than even we expected - no wonder they didn't want people to see this before the vote!
- There will be a Standing Policy Committee on Planning and Urban Development meeting on Wednesday and a Calgary Planning Commission meeting on Thursday.
Last Week In Calgary:
- Property Tax Bills arrived in Calgarian's mailboxes and homeowners were shocked by the massive tax hikes they are facing in these economic conditions. Mayor Nenshi tried to blame the tax-shift, but our Executive Director, Megan McCaffrey, set the record straight: "Non-residential property taxes are astronomical in Calgary and it’s crippling businesses, so something needed to be done, but the solution wasn’t shifting taxes onto residential homeowners. The solution was to reduce spending at city hall."
- Calgarians got another unwelcome surprise with their tax bills, a letter from Mayor Nenshi full of misinformation. As we pointed out on 660 News: No, spending increases have not been kept to the rate of population plus inflation, they're higher; no, Calgary Council has not found $740 million in savings, they've increased spending by $460 million; and no, Calgary is certainly not focused on the essentials.
- After weeks of alarming numbers coming from City Hall about the financial implications of COVID-19 to the City, Second Street took a closer look at the actual numbers. It turns out that Calgary's COVID-related budget shortfall is just 6% of their normal annual budget. While many Calgary businesses are facing revenue drops closer to 60% or even 100%, what was made out to be a very big problem suddenly looks quite small. Surely Council could find just 6% in savings to avoid hiking taxes even further?
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