Calgary trims 2016 property tax hike to 3.5%

Calgary city council voted unanimously Monday to trim the property tax hike in 2016 to 3.5 per cent, down from its previous mark of 4.7 per cent.

Mayor and councillors vote unanimously to reduce tax increase from its previous rate of 4.7%

A smaller property tax increase for was approved for Calgarians next year after city staff came forward with a budget proposal that would see no service reductions. (Brian Burnett/CBC)

Calgary city council voted unanimously Monday to trim the property tax hike in 2016 to 3.5 per cent, down from its previous mark of 4.7 per cent.

The 15-0 vote came after city staff came forward with a budget proposal that would see no service reductions. Reduced tax revenue will instead be made up through a variety of efficiencies and other savings.

Last year, council had approved a 4.7 per cent tax increase for 2016 as part of its four-year budgeting process.

The change means the tax bill for a median-priced home in Calgary will increase by about $60 next year, versus $80 previously proposed.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said it makes sense to give Calgarians a little tax relief in tough economic times.

"In the past, I've often said this is the budget we have and no one is particularly happy with it," Nenshi said. "I think today people are a bit happier with it."

Coun. Ward Sutherland credited council's persistent questioning of city spending for churning up the savings.

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