How should we use $52 million for Calgarians?
Post Date: Friday, May 17, 2013
Today City Council announced a new public engagement asking Calgarians how The City should use the $52 million of provincial tax room.
“This is a significant amount of unbudgeted money,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “We've debated five options in Council—all of which reflect the priorities of Calgarians—and this is our opportunity to do engage with citizens to hear what they think before Council makes a decision in July.”
City Council wants all citizens to give input on all or any of the five options. There are three ways citizens can get their input to City Council:
- Online at calgary.ca/52million
- Attending face to face opportunities at five different locations in Calgary over the next two weeks (schedule below)
- Calling 3-1-1
Currently, about 60 per cent of the property taxes citizen’s pay goes to The City for operations including the police, fire, 911, road maintenance, parks and recreation facilities. The other 40 per cent goes directly to The Province.
City Council approved the 2013 budget in November 2012. The Province, after its budget in March 2013, actually requested less of their estimated portion of 40 per cent than had been anticipated.
That means that, with the same budget approved last November, The City now has $52 million more than expected. Council policy states that this money cannot be used for day-to-day operational expenses, but may be used for capital projects, which The City often asks the province to help fund, or debt reduction.
City Council came up with five options for using this tax room that will provide value for Calgarians. They are:
- “Let the buses roll!” Creating a new dedicated capital fund for Calgary Transit
- “Give business a break!” Reducing the tax rate for businesses
- “Revitalize our communities!” Investing in maintenance and renewal of older neighbourhoods
- “Drop the debt!” Reducing the City’s debt and our annual interest payments
- “Give it back!” Lowering the taxes that homeowners pay
Please visit calgary.ca/52million for more information.
$52 Million face-to-face engagement opportunities:
Wednesday, May 22
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
+15 North Bridge
Wednesday, May 29
11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Friday, June 31
2 – 6 p.m.
Northland Village Mall
Saturday, June 1
9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Saturday, June 1
1:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 2
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.