With only a few months before Calgarians head to the polls for a civic election, taxpayers can expect a small rebate.
On Monday night, council members voted in favour of rebating the 2017 provincial tax room equalling a one-time return in the amount of $23.7 million.
The money was made available thanks to a discrepancy between municipal and provincial taxes. The provincial tax request was lower than what the city had budgeted for, creating so-called “tax room.”
Councillors voted in favour of refunding the $23.7 million surplus to taxpayers. The rebate works out to about seven dollars per year for taxpayers who own a property valued at $460,000.
“Going into today, I would have said it’s not very much money. Let’s not even open this can of worms,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “But I actually heard some really compelling arguments about how we should make that decision for this year but we shouldn’t make that decision for all future years… In particular until we have a budget for the Green Line (LRT).”
Only two councillors, Brian Pincott and Gian-Carlo Carra, voted against the rebate.
The votes followed a two-hour in-camera session to, at least in part, discuss the Green Line LRT.
Although details of the closed door meeting are not being made public, Mayor Nenshi said councillors have been made aware the financial costs for the Green Line are larger than expected.