The City has lowered the 2016 property tax increase from 4.7 to 3.5 per cent, but some wonder if Calgarians should be happy with the amount of paring.
Amber Ruddy, Alberta director of the Canadian Federation for Independent Business, said the trim is a good thing, but the City should be holding the line.
“If they were serious about trimming back that property tax hike, they’d look at that biggest line item and think of that in the future as their renegotiating contracts with government employees,” Ruddy said.
Calgary’s Mayor was asked if the city could shrink the increase further.
Naheed Nenshi said that is simply how much money administration was able to find rather than reinvesting it into services through the economic downturn.
“It’s $2 a month, it’s not an enormous amount of money, but in these times, it’s an important symbol for us to send,” he said.
This is the first time in 10 years that administration has suggested lowering the increase.
Councillor Richard Pootmans said, when it comes to available city funds, how quickly a five per cent vacancy rate is filled, will have a big impact in the future.
“If the job vacancies are pushed out one, two and three months out, before we fill them, then in fact, a huge amount of that savings actually derives in terms of a tax rate decrease,” he said.