City hall must fix structural problem with the property tax system
June 5, 2019
Over the past few years the Chamber has worked with City Council and administration to find solutions to address the ongoing property issue facing our city.
This work includes the recommendation to cap business property taxes at 5 per cent in 2017 to provide short term relief. Unfortunately, this program wasn’t designed to be used over multiple years and became less effective each year as the underlying tax increases were built in to the portion that was being capped.
What we really needed to see, and what the Chamber has been asking Council to do since the 2017 election, is a long-term structural adjustment to the property tax system. Along with this adjustment to the tax system there also needs to be a course change at City Hall to bring a needed focus to driving efficiencies and reducing costs.
We have seen this course change at the provincial level with recently announced cuts to corporate taxes, a reduction in labour costs imposed on businesses, and changes announced in Bill 7 on June 4, which gives municipalities more tools to help attract business. We need the City to follow the province’s lead and start to make it easier to operate a business in Calgary.
For more information on the Chamber’s perspective on this problem, and what solutions are needed, read an recent opinion piece published in the Calgary Herald on June 4, 2019, or a blog post published on April 15, 2019.