Calgary should be a competitive and stable place to do business, supported by fair and equitable contributions from residents and businesses to support service delivery and community well-being.
Non-residential (business) properties in Calgary have seen the largest tax hikes among major cities in Canada over the last several years. For example, under our current system, large industrial warehouses could have seen a 23.1 per cent increase in property taxes this year, prevented only by Council reactively capping that increase at 10 per cent.
Three key elements contribute to Calgary’s property tax challenge:
Annual increases and associated uncertainty are directly threatening the survival and viability of Calgary businesses at a time when they most need support. Introducing long-term, structural changes to Calgary’s property tax system will bolster business resiliency during challenging economic periods, provide a higher level of certainty and stability for existing businesses, and encourage new investment.
Reducing the non-residential to residential property tax ratio will increase our competitiveness and encourage businesses to start and grow.
Reduce the non-residential to residential property tax ratio from 2.8 to 1 by 2022.
Alternative methods of revenue generation help alleviate the tax burden on property owners.
Consider establishing an arms-length entity to lease non-revenue generating surplus land as additional and recurring sources of revenue, and in some cases, opportunities for business. This should be in advance of the work of the Enhanced Rationalization Program examining opportunities for land sales.
Examine and propose legislative and regulatory changes, in collaboration with the Government of Alberta, that allows cities to introduce new revenue generation models and strategies.
Continue consulting with the Real Estate Working Group to gather business input into the City’s finances.
Despite improvements, businesses continue to face challenges in understanding their property tax assessment and the changes they see.
Build on progress made in recent years to further enhance transparency and accountability, making information about taxation and revenue allocation more accessible.
Improve the property tax assessment dispute resolution process by taking a client-centric approach.
Keeping costs low helps reduce the tax burden on both businesses and residents.
Further advance the critical work of the City’s SAVE program, to further increase cost savings and operational efficiencies.
Introduce longer-term efficiencies such as privatizing services, managing consulting costs and increasing operational efficiencies of City Administration.
The Calgary Chamber's statement on City Council's decision to maintain the non-residential to residential property tax ratio.
The Calgary Chamber of Commerce calls on City Council to rebalance residential and non-residential taxes.
A report released by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce highlights key priorities and recommendations ahead of upcoming Council decisions on the City of Calgary’s 2023-2026 Service Plans and Budgets.