Calgary Chamber urges City Council to rebalance property tax
Calgary, February 14, 2023 – The Calgary Chamber of Commerce calls on City Council to rebalance residential and non-residential taxes, adopting an incremental shift of two per cent per year for the next four years. This will bring Calgary in line with other Canadian cities and bend the curve on an increasingly imbalanced property tax ratio between businesses and residents.
“Rebalancing the property tax ratio will help ensure Calgary remains an attractive place to start and grow a business, and will facilitate economic stability and resilience,” says Deborah Yedlin, President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. “As businesses across the city continue to grapple with rising costs, inflation and increased debt, immediate action is needed to support business growth. We urge City Council to commit to a two per cent shift from non-residential to residential annually until 2026, bringing the cost of doing business closer in line with other comparable and proximal cities.”
According to the Q4 Business Conditions Survey conducted in partnership with Statistics Canada, only 12.5 per cent of businesses anticipate growing this year. Businesses’ limited ability to grow is largely linked to cost pressures: 58.8 per cent of businesses remain concerned with rising inflation, while 43.4 per cent are concerned with the rising cost of inputs. Critically, coupled with the talent shortage and interest rates, businesses need all levels of government to reduce – not increase – the cost of doing business.
In 2021, businesses in Calgary paid 3.4 times that of a residential property owner in property tax, per $1,000 of assessed value. If left unaddressed, the ratio will climb to 4.26 to 1 in 2023 – the highest among comparable Canadian cities – by a significant margin. Without an immediate course-correction, Calgary will exacerbate our position as one of the least equitable tax jurisdictions in Canada, far surpassing both large urban centers and neighbouring communities.
Calgary’s vibrancy and economic resilience hinges on the well-being of our business community – across sectors, sizes and regions of the city. After several challenging years, businesses need government to help create an environment that facilitates business growth, enables businesses to hire staff and bring vibrancy to streetscapes, and diversify our economy.
ABOUT THE CALGARY CHAMBER
The Calgary Chamber exists to help businesses thrive. As the convenor and catalyst for a vibrant, inclusive, and prosperous business community, the Chamber works to build strength and resilience among its members and position Calgary as a magnet for talent, diversification, and opportunity. As an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization, we build on our 131-year history to serve and advocate for businesses of all sizes, in all sectors, and across the city.