Zero — it’s a tantalizing number for taxpayers.
Calgary’s city council starts going through the proposed 2017 budget Monday, and the mayor has already said the plan is to freeze the overall rate.
It’s not as simple as it sounds, though.
Ward 12 Coun. Shane Keating points out a lot of factors go into your final bill, including property value assessment and the portion the provincial government takes for education. He said staff has been working hard to trim what they can.
“We can find efficiencies, and we’re doing that. It’s one of the ways that we’re actually keeping it at zero.” he said. “I think administration has been very good and our new city manager, Mr. Fielding, has been very good at saying ‘We have to do the same thing we’re doing but do it as efficient as possible’.”
While downtown businesses could see a break in 2017, the tax burden might shift to the suburbs and that worries Ward 10’s Andre Chabot.
“Where we collect most of our taxes, those properties have all gone down more than the average.”
“So, to take that big piece of that pie and try and push some of that into the smaller pie in the outlying areas means an increase.” said Chabot.
It could prove to be the sticking point at the budget table.