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.

Mind your wallets, urban Albertans: City charters meant city taxes in Toronto

By: Paige MacPherson, Amber Ruddy and Stephanie Kusie
In mid-November, Premier Rachel Notley was given the chance to end a long-held belief that her government is considering giving Alberta’s big cities historic new taxing powers. 

Instead, she refused to rule out granting new tax powers to Alberta’s big cities. She said discussions with the mayors of Calgary and Edmonton about big city charters hadn’t yet reached that point, but has welcomed the big city mayors to meet with the entire NDP cabinet in January.

Adding fuel to the tax fire, just days before Calgary City Council discussed city charters behind closed doors in an in-camera meeting.

Once again, Alberta taxpayers and businesses are left out of the discussion, despite the fact that they’ll be the ones to pay the bill if Calgary imposes a city sales tax or Edmonton slaps on a city gas tax.


See Charter, Think Tax Coalition Calls on Mayors and Premier to Sign Pledge Promising No New Tax Powers Without Citywide Referendums

CALGARY, AB: The See Charter, Think Tax Coalition is calling on Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, and Premier Notley to sign a pledge promising they will not secure new tax powers for Edmonton or Calgary without citywide referendums.

See Charter Think Tax: Coalition Warns of New Municipal Taxing Powers

By: Paige MacPherson, Amber Ruddy,  Stephanie Kusie


Look, up in the sky! It’s a tool, it’s a levy, it’s a charter – no, it’s a tax! And it’s about to empty pockets near you.

The mayors of Edmonton and Calgary have been busy pushing for city charters – agreements that could give their councils new taxing powers.

Over the last year, Albertans have been served a heaping pile of new taxes and fees. There’s no doubt times are tough. But what about the taxes we don’t see coming? If we don’t look up, a whopping tax burden might fall right into our wallets before we know it.

Take, for example, a city sales tax.


Businesses, Residents and Taxpayers Agree: No New City Taxes

The_Peace_Bridge_in_Calgary_an_HDR_photo.jpgNew coalition wants answers on where the Alberta government stands

CALGARY, AB: See Charter, Think Tax is a new Alberta-based coalition urging the provincial government to reject calls by Alberta’s big city mayors for the power to impose new taxes. The See Charter, Think Tax coalition is demanding clarity from Premier Rachel Notley and Municipal Affairs Minister Deron Bilous where it stands on city charter arrangements being negotiated with Calgary and Edmonton.

The coalition includes representatives from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and Common Sense Calgary (CSC) – three groups representing those who would pay for an increased city tax burden.

“Overspending on the day-to-day operations of cities must be addressed before big-city mayors demand even more from taxpayers,” said CFIB Alberta Director Amber Ruddy. “We recognize cities face budgeting challenges but that is largely a function of poor planning, not a lack of revenue.”

It is expected further detail about how the province plans to modernize the relationship between big cities will be discussed in the Alberta budget, to be delivered on October 27th.