Calgary city council voted unanimously to freeze property taxes in 2017.
The motion put forward by Ward 1 councilor Ward Sutherland on Monday suggested a 1.5 per cent tax hike next year. However, councillors voted to offset the increase with a one-time withdrawal of about $22.5 million from the Fiscal Stability Reserve (FSR.)
The money removed from the FSR – more commonly known as the city’s “rainy day fund” – will have to be repaid at some point. However, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said on Monday he’s sure the city will be able to find a way to do that.
“I am comfortable that we will be able to find that money either in 2018 – or continue the one-time rebate in 2018, or until a point where the economy recovers.”
On Monday, councillors also approved a freeze on user fees, transit fares, recreation fees, park fees and pet licensing fees.
– With files from Doug Vaessen