Claughton Guest Post: Timing Is Everything - Especially In An Election Year

November 21, 2016, was the day that started the deliberations of Calgary's budget for 2017, which is actually year three of a four-year plan. It is an annual time allocation that gives Council the opportunity to review and revise the operating and capital budget plan for the coming year. To grasp the enormity of what it takes to keep the "big machine" and its needs addressed, the annual Capital Budget for 2014 - 2018 is set at $5.8 billion. According to the City of Calgary website, 48 percent of this spending is derived from taxes.  


Macdonald: Asking the Why


CommonSense-FullCombo-03.pngIt seems as though we are having a geographical shift in the relocation of businesses from the downtown core of Calgary to the suburbs. The oil and gas industry is slashing operating costs, vacating office space and shedding once highly valued yet now unaffordable employees. One would think engineers and other skilled professionals are flocking to the "burbs," but are they really? 


Charter Submission to Government Canadian Taxpayers Federation

CTF Submission to the Government of Alberta on the Incoming City Charters

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) greatly appreciates the opportunity to partake in the consultation process around city charters. We attended both the Calgary stakeholder session and public information session. As a non-profit, non- partisan citizens advocacy group with over 90,000 supporters across Canada – many of them living in Calgary and Edmonton – we have substantial concerns about what city charters could mean for taxpayers.

Charter Submission to Government - Common Sense Calgary

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments pertaining to the creation of the City Charters through the Municipal Government Act. I am the Executive Director of Common Sense Calgary, an organization dedicated to providing a balanced dialogue about issues important to the citizens of Calgary. 

Common Sense Calgary works in the best interests of Calgarians to promote fiscal and ethical responsibility at City Hall, and currently are advocating for no new proposed taxation powers in the City Charters, at least not without citywide referenda. In cooperation with several other organizations, we have been generating media and public awareness related to the proposed City Charters through a coalition titled, "See Charter, Think Tax."

Kusie: Calgarians have good reason to be upset about property taxes

Published on: June 22, 2016 | Last Updated: June 22, 2016 3:00 AM MDT


There’s been a lot of talk about property taxes lately — and for good reason. Calgarians are shocked and appalled by the increases they’ve received in the mail. 

Zero for Zero – Common Sense Calgary Supports Sutherland’s call for 0% pay increase

  • Zero wage increase in 2018 for zero property tax in 2017.
  • Measure would cover 3.4 per cent of the proposed 4.7 per cent 2017 increase.

New city tax powers are still on the table

From the Calgary Herald. By By Paige MacPherson, Amber Ruddy and Stephanie Kusie.

Calgarians are loud and clear: Lower taxes and cut wasteful spending. So when will council listen?

First published in the Calgary Sun.

For months now, Common Sense Calgary has been suggesting to city council to cool their jets on spending and taxation.

Taxed to the max — Calgarians feeling pinch of taxes and fees

By Paige MacPherson, Amber Ruddy and Stephanie Kusie

When faced with a slumping economy, residents and businesses pore over their expenses with a fine tooth comb to ensure value for the services paid for. People often complain about their property tax bill, but is there any merit to the grumbling?

Notley Must Let Albertans Decide On New City Taxes

By Stephanie Kusie, Amber Ruddy and Paige MacPherson

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2016 will be the year of the monkey. But will it also be the year of the tax? Unfortunately, if Alberta's big-city mayors have their way, all signs point to yes when it comes to city charters. What advocates of democracy and choice can hope for is that the premier puts the power in the hands of the people and lets city residents decide.