Calgary councillors voted unanimously to approve the 2017 budget on Monday, including a pledge not to increase property taxes. It’s a move meant to help citizens in the wake of the city’s still-struggling economy.
Councillors had previously decided to drop the 2017 tax increase from 4.7 per cent to 1.5 percent – and on Monday, decided to dip into reserve funds to offset the 1.5 per cent increase, effectively freezing the tax rate.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said council will now focus on monetary relief for business owners outside the downtown core.
“Everyone’s tax rates on average have been frozen, but if your assessments on the non-residential side really went up in a year when most people went down, you are going to see a bit of shock on the bill – and that’s what we have to figure out how best to cushion.”