Property tax decision expected Monday

The City of Calgary has to decide what to do with extra money from property taxes after Alberta announced it would take less than expected for provincial education tax.

Council needs to decide whether to spend extra money or return it as tax breaks

Calgary city council will vote Monday on property tax increases. (CBC)

City council will decide Monday how much more Calgarians will pay on this year's property tax bill.

Aldermen voted last November to increase the tax bill by 5.5 per cent, or an average of $75 for the typical homeowner. It had to wait until the province set the rate for the education portion before finalizing the details of the increase.

The province announced in its budget this spring that it would take less money from Calgarians than expected for the provincial education tax.

City council has previously passed a policy that it would assume any unused tax room if the province's rate is less than an increase in the city's portion.

City council now needs to decide how to spend the $52 million in extra revenue. It can also decide to use some or all of that money to reduce the size of this year's tax increase.

"Look, if Calgarians come back and overwhelmingly say, 'Look, we don't want to invest in transit in this way ... that's something that council will really have to consider," says Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Nenshi says while he would like to use the additional money on transit projects, Calgarians will be asked how the money should be used or if they would prefer a tax break.

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