Calgary Minute: Taxes, Taxes, Tax Protests, and Cycle Tracks
Calgary Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Calgary politics
This Week In Calgary:
- This morning, there is a protest planned opposing the small business tax hike. Monday, June 10th, 2019 at 7:30am in front of City Hall. Bring your tax bill!
- Council is holding an emergency meeting to discuss property taxes, with several proposals on the table. Councillor Keating's plan calls for $60 million in cuts, combined with $70.9 million from reserve funds, for a total of $130.9 million. He is claiming this would actually lower tax bills (!). Of course, last week we were told that $190 million in cuts wasn't enough to even freeze taxes so: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- After the emergency meeting, the regular council meeting will take most of the day to discuss regional planning. Changes to the Municipal Government Act in 2016 gave Calgary significant power over neighbouring municipalities via mandatory growth management boards. We expect large portions of this part of the meeting to be held in camera, however.
Last Week In Calgary:
- Last Tuesday's Priorities and Finance Committee meeting saw the approval of another $1 million for a cycle track and $600k for more public art. Then, Mayor Nenshi announced they had no time to debate Councillor Farkas' plan to fix the city's insane tax increases - because, priorities.
- The Calgary Chamber called for a significant increase to residential property taxes in order to reduce business taxes. We often agree with the Chamber on municipal issues, but this is an awful idea that completely ignores the root cause of the problem which is a systemic issue of overspending at City Hall. Council needs to cut spending so that everyone - businesses and residents - can get some tax relief.
- Alarm bells started ringing for some Councillors at last weeks "downtown convention district" meeting. Committee members wondered whether funding multiple competing convention spaces is really the best strategy for council to follow. Why is the City debating funding both the Telus Convention Centre and the BMO Centre in the same month?