Council has directed city bureaucrats to develop the next four-year budget cycle based on property tax increases of 4.7 per cent as well as annual utility rate hikes of eight per cent.

Calgarians can also expect almost all user fees charged by the city, except at certain park facilities and golf courses, to increase slightly.

City managers were advising council to budget for yearly property tax hikes of 5.5 per cent, but councillors adopted a motion to trim that by eight tenths of a point.

Increasing costs are behind the forecast eight per cent jump for blended water and wastewater bills over the next four years.

Monthly drainage fees are expected to double from $9 per month to $18 per month over that same time period.

Coun. Ward Sutherland says hikes of this magnitude must be blamed on previous councils for not properly planning for growth.

“There should have been really some budgeting over the years, the money put aside so unfortunately those numbers right now, they look scary and they're ugly, and it's because nothing's happened over the last 10 years to prepare for it.”

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said there is little choice for council on the utility rates, as they are needed to pay for major expansions in infrastructure.

But he said he's not sure continued property tax hikes are sustainable.

"At some point someone's got to give, especially when other orders of government are reaping billions and billions of dollars from Calgarians and those dollars are not coming back to services to the city."

Monthly recycling fees are also set to go up. Blue cart fees will increase slightly and a new green cart fee of $6.50 per month is coming in 2017.

After administration develops the four-year budget, it will be debated by council in November.