Evan Woolley proposes $60M business tax rebate

Coun. Evan Woolley is working with two business groups to propose a tax rebate for small- and medium-sized businesses for 2016 and 2017.

Proposal a 'proactive approach to addressing the shock to our economy,' says Calgary city councillor

Coun. Evan Woolley wants local businesses to get a 'significant' tax break this year and next. (CBC)

Coun. Evan Woolley is working with the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and Calgary Economic Development on a notice of motion that proposes substantial tax relief for small- and medium-sized businesses.

"Businesses in our city … are the economic anchor of our past and future success," said Woolley in a release. 

"When times are good, businesses pay a vast portion towards building and operating our city, and when times are bad we need to step up to support them. This proposal represents an immediate and proactive approach to addressing the shock to our economy."

The proposal, which adds up to $60 miliion, goes before city council on Monday.

The groups say it would help about 25,000 businesses and save an average of $2,400 on their tax bill over the two years. 

The owner of one local pet store says she has been forced to scale back on employees hours in the downturn.

"A couple thousand dollars in tax relief will help us to keep more staff on, which allows us to maintain the best care possible for our four-legged clients while helping our staff earn steady paycheques to pay their own bills," said Annie Cole, CEO of Muttley Cru Organics, in the release.

The proposal gives businesses $30 million this year in tax rebates and $30 million in 2017.

Woolley says the money would come from the city's fiscal stability reserve and represents roughly 10 per cent of the fund each year.

Here are some examples of the proposed business tax rebate. (Calgary Chamber of Commerce)