Calgarians less confident city 'on the right track,' survey finds

Calgarians are growing concerned about the direction the city is headed and there is increasing unhappiness about taxes, according to a new survey.

Majority of respondents say city should cut services to keep taxes from going up

The city's yearly Spring Pulse survey finds fewer Calgarians feel their city is on the right track. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Calgarians are growing concerned about the direction the city is headed and there is increasing unhappiness about taxes, according to a new survey.

The findings are in the 2019 Spring Pulse Survey, which asked citizens how they feel about the services provided by the City of Calgary.

For almost all of this decade, between 84 and 90 per cent of citizens who were surveyed said they agreed that Calgary is "on the right track to be a better city 10 years from now."

However, in the latest edition of the survey, which was done between mid-May and mid-June, that number slid to 68 per cent.

The one issue that respondents feel should get the greatest attention from city hall remains infrastructure, roads and traffic — but taxes went from the fourth biggest concern to the second.

Drag your cursor or finger over this interactive graphic to trace how Calgarians' perceived quality of life has changed since 2008:

The survey also revealed a growing dissatisfaction among Calgarians with how the city handles property taxes, with over half of respondents — 58 per cent — saying they're either very or somewhat satisfied.

By comparison, 94 per cent said they're somewhat or very satisfied with the city's 311 service.

Also for the first time in a decade of spring surveys, a majority of respondents — 53 per cent — say the city should cut services to either maintain current tax levels or to give Calgarians tax cuts.

The survey found that 79 per cent of respondents feel the quality of life in Calgary is good, while six per cent rate it as poor.

However, 43 per cent said they feel the quality of life in Calgary has deteriorated in the past three years. Another 44 per cent feel it has stayed the same, while 13 per cent feel it has improved.

"I think what we're seeing is a bit of a lingering impact of the economic downturn," said Ipsos public affairs vice-president Erin Roulston.

"There's optimism that things will get better, but they haven't yet, and that's what we're seeing in those statistics."

The Ipsos survey, conducted with 2,500 Calgarians with landlines or cellphones, has a margin of error of plus or minus two per cent, 19 times out of 20.


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