CALGARY- Hot on the heels of news that utility bills could soon spike, city council has approved a proposed 4.7 per cent tax hike over the next four years.
The increase, combined with higher utility rates, could cost the average homeowner an extra $900 per year.
“It sucks,” said disgruntled homeowner Doug Youra.
“I don’t know if it will be responsibly spent. I mean, if we have another fiasco like that frickin’ Peace Bridge…”
Youra is not alone in his misery. Ward 1 councillor Ward Sutherland admits he feels sick about the increase.
“My phones have been ringing all morning,” Sutherland says. “I’ve already talked to several people. With seniors, this is going to have a huge impact.”
Mayor Naheed Nenshi says it all comes down to the cost of creating a liveable city, and the increase was actually less than the initial proposal—meaning some services will still be affected.
“We very clearly saw people wanted more transit, more reliable transit, more hours. And what we passed will not really allow for any growth in transit.”
Council is now calling on the province to help pay for infrastructure like waste water upgrades, so taxpayers won’t be on the hook.
Final budget deliberations are scheduled for November.