Calgary, November 25, 2021 - The 2022 Adjustments to the One Calgary Service Plans and Budget approved by City Council yesterday demonstrate the urgent need for certainty and stability. The budget must balance investment in the future of Calgary with fiscal sustainability for Calgary’s business community, pointing to the need to examine other options to raise additional revenues.
“A 3.87 per cent property tax increase is concerning, given recent signals that the increase would be less than one per cent,” said Deborah Yedlin, President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber. “Businesses cannot afford the significant hike in property tax, particularly given the lasting impacts of the pandemic, coupled with inflationary pressures that are being felt throughout the economy.”
The Calgary Chamber has consistently urged City Council to rebalance property tax ratios to foster fairness and competitiveness in Calgary’s property tax system. With the tax split and ratio remaining relatively consistent, the burden placed on businesses to fund critical investments reinforces the need to ensure Calgary can effectively raise revenue through alternative means. This could include the sale or lease of City-owned property or the issuance of municipal bonds.
Through yesterday’s increase, the City funded some important initiatives, many of which are aligned with what we called for during the municipal election. These include:
“As we enter the City’s next four-year budget cycle, Council must establish a direction that supports economic recovery and fiscal responsibility, while also investing in the future of our city,” says Yedlin. “We are looking to Council to innovate and work with the provincial government to explore and introduce alternative revenue sources that will provide our city with a more stable and diversified revenue base.”
Looking ahead to 2022, the Calgary Chamber looks forward to working with City Council and Administration to ensure a vibrant, inclusive and prosperous city that supports the priorities of our business community and helps them grow, scale-up and succeed.
The Calgary Chamber is an independent non-profit, non-partisan business organization. For 130 years, the Chamber has worked to build a business community that nourishes, powers and inspires the world.
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