Calgarians to face nearly 4% tax hike as council approves 2022 budget

·2 min read
Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek speaks to reporters Wednesday. City council has completed its annual budget debate, approving a tax rate increase of 3.87 per cent for next year on the municipal portion of property tax bills.   (Mike Symington/CBC - image credit)
Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek speaks to reporters Wednesday. City council has completed its annual budget debate, approving a tax rate increase of 3.87 per cent for next year on the municipal portion of property tax bills. (Mike Symington/CBC - image credit)

Calgarians will be looking at higher taxes next year, by close to 4 per cent.

City council completed its annual budget debate Wednesday, approving a tax rate increase of 3.87 per cent for next year on the municipal portion of property tax bills.

This comes as council boosted funding to affordable housing, added more peace officers for Calgary Transit and increased funding for snow and ice control in the city.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek said the increased funding is a reflection of what the new council heard at doors during the election campaign, and includes the types of services Calgarians expect from their new council.

"We've had some very interesting conversations as a council over the last four weeks... what we have seen today is a level of conviction from this council to ensure that we are helping people in positions of vulnerability, that we are keeping true to the actions that we will take on reconciliation," she said.

Council approved setting aside $11 million to buy land for an Indigenous gathering place, which would help meet the city's commitments in response to the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Gondek said the new council sees that previous "austerity measures have put us in a very precarious position."

'Tough sell'

Ward 13 councillor Dan McLean said his residents told him they wanted a freeze on taxes, but there were some items he felt he needed to support.

"We're not going to get there, it's been difficult," he said. "People will be paying more, and that will be a tough sell."

On Wednesday, council also finalized:

  • Additional financial support for climate action policies.

  • $2 million more for Calgary Arts Development Authority.

  • Hiring 56 additional firefighters and six new training officers at Calgary Fire Department.

  • Putting up funds for downtown office conversion projects.

In a statement, the city said the municipal property tax rate increase will equate to about $6.20 per month for the typical single residential property.

Council voted 11 to 4 in support of the final amended budget motion.

The approved budget changes include more than $60 million in spending reductions which were found through a corporate savings program.

The tax rate for next year will not be finalized until the spring as the city must wait to see the province's requisition for the education portion of property taxes.

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