Your property taxes will be a lot higher than expected this year and we have last week’s provincial budget to blame.
While City council managed to reduce it’s share to a 3.5 percent increase, the province’s take is going up 10.2 percent.
The information came to light as city council was given an update on the impact of the provincial budget on city finances.
It means Calgarians will face an increase of 6.1 percent this year. So what would have cost the average homeowner an extra $60 this year, will now be $170.
Councillor Andre Chabot calls it an outrageous figure but isn’t surprised, saying it’s an easy way out for the province to get some money and not take the heat for it since the city sends out the tax bill.
Councillor Ward Sutherland says it’s frustrating when the city has worked so hard to keep taxes down.
“I hate getting overly political, but you know, call your MLA. Because as a city we’re going in the other direction. I’m trying to look at zeros for the next couple of years, and not going up. I don’t believe in taxing the tax.”
Sutherland is also expressing frustration that municipalities aren’t exempt from the carbon tax.
“So we’re now going to tax operating costs for mass transit that we want people to go on, we’re going to tax police to go out to solve crime, we’re going to tax road cleaners, we’re going to tax bylaw to go out. It’s not a productive tax.”
Environment Minister Shannon Phillips says the province has addressed the issue.
“I would argue that $2.2 billion in green infrastructure, including transit will go some way toward offsetting those costs.”