Updated - June 4th, 2020
Across the City, Calgary families are opening their mailboxes to uncover a 7.5% property tax hike.
Calgarians are also receiving a letter from Mayor Naheed Nenshi designed to explain why his council is moving forward with a tax hike while thousands of Calgary workers are losing their jobs.
A massive tax hike is bad enough, but Nenshi’s letter, chock-full of misinformation, adds insult to injury.
“City Council has kept your taxes to below inflation and population growth since the beginning of this latest downturn in 2014,” reads Nenshi’s letter.
The City’s own data in its 2019 and 2018 annual reports disprove the Mayor’s claim.
Had residential taxes only grown by the rate of inflation and population growth since the end of 2014, the City would have collected $216 million less from homeowners during that time.
Nenshi’s letter also boasts that Council has “identified over $740 million in cuts and savings.”
While most Calgarians would assume savings means a spending cut, when the Mayor says that Council has saved $740 million, he means council continued to increase spending, but at a slower rate then originally planned.
There have been zero cuts to the City’s budget.
Instead, Calgary Council’s spending has increased every year since 2014 and is now $460 million more than it was when the downturn began.
Calgary residents just spent two months finding out what is essential, and what isn’t.
We think it’s time City Hall focused on the essentials too.
In 2019, after businesses rallied to oppose massive tax hikes, Calgary Council was forced to re-consider.
It's not too late for Calgarians to force Council to rethink this year's massive tax hikes on residents.
Sign the petition to help fight back against constant tax hikes.
Updated - April 6th, 2020
At today's Calgary Council meeting, Councillor Farkas proposed using surplus funds from the City's corporate welfare program and public art program to provide a one-time rebate of the 7.5% tax increase, so that Calgary residents' taxes would be frozen for this year.
Despite the Mayor and Councillors Farrell and Woolley having spent large portions of the meeting talking extensively about how they needed to take advantage of the emergency to lobby the province for new tax powers for the City, they were horrified when Councillor Farkas suggested cutting taxes instead of raising them.
Are they really this out of touch?
It seems so...
Council voted 2-13 against cancelling the City's 7.5% tax increase.
Voting to raise taxes 7.5%:
Voting against raising taxes 7.5%:
Updated - March 12th, 2020
It has just been revealed that City Hall will have a $129 million surplus this year.
Council recently voted to raise taxes by 8.9% in probably the worst economic times Calgary has seen, even though they have a massive budget surplus.
Why? Because they need that money to spend next year. They never stop spending!
Don't believe those who tell you that Council has already cut spending.
When they say they "cut", they just mean that they increased spending by slightly less than they'd originally planned.
We fought against these tax increases last year, and we're still fighting now, because it's not too late.
Council still have to vote to finalize the tax increase in the coming days.
So let's show them that an 8.9% tax increase while they sit on a gigantic surplus of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars is not acceptable.
No Tax Hike, No Tax Shift
This week, Calgary Council are debating the City budget for 2020.
City officials have given them three potential scenarios to choose between:
- Holding spending levels flat
- Increasing spending by 1.5%
- Increasing spending by 3%
No matter which scenario they choose, your taxes are going up next year.
This is unacceptable.
On top of that, after council votes on how much to increase spending, they also plan to debate "shifting" taxes away from businesses and on to residents.
This could increase residential taxes by another 6% or 7%!
Pitting Calgary businesses and residents against each other isn't helpful - both businesses and residents in Calgary are hurting.
We all know that the problem at City Hall isn't a lack of tax revenue, it's out-of-control spending.
Council needs to get spending under control so that taxes can go down for businesses AND residents!
Let's show council that the majority of Calgarians expect them to get spending under control, not create ever-more wasteful government programs.
Sign the petition to support tax cuts, not tax hikes or tax shifts.
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