City wants to freeze Calgary taxes next year, but that would require more cuts

City administration wants to give Calgarians another property tax freeze next year, but said it will require an additional $9 million in cuts.

Mayor Nenshi warns keeping property taxes below inflation can't continue forever

Calgary city council was told it would require $9 million in cuts to freeze property taxes next year. (CBC)

City administration wants to give Calgarians another property tax freeze next year.

But in addition to other corporate cost-cutting measures, city council's finance committee was told Tuesday it would need to find another $9 million in spending reductions to achieve that, or that money would have to come out of city reserve funds.

Those cuts would be in addition to $51 million in savings identified through the city's "solutions for achieving value and excellence" (SAVE) program. 

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says keeping taxes below inflation and population growth cannot continue indefinitely without affecting the services Calgarians want from the city.

"So I would really encourage those who are running for council to be very thoughtful about their platform as it comes to the budget, because even getting to zero will be very, very difficult," he said.

"And getting below zero, I don't even think will be possible unless you want to get in a situation where next year, you're going to have to do a 10 or 12 per cent increase just to catch up, and nobody wants that."

City council cut this year's property taxes by 1.7 per cent. 

Shortly after the October election, the new city council will discuss possible changes to the 2022 budget.

With files from Scott Dippel


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