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Small business owners rally to protest tax hikes

Last Updated Jun 10, 2019 at 9:26 am MST

Small business owners arrive in front of Calgary City Hall for a rally to protest tax increases (Credit - Sean Chu/Twitter)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – More than a hundred small business owners rallied outside City Hall Monday morning in advance of City Council’s emergency meeting

The rally is called “Sorry, Calgary is closing” with business owners saying it’s exactly what they are facing after discovering their large tax bills recently.

Half of business property owners in Calgary say they’re seeing double-digit tax increase of more than 10 per cent, while some businesses have seen their tax bill triple or even quadruple this year.

Some at the rally held placards calling for Mayor Naheed Nenshi and council to be fired for dithering while businesses decide whether to cut staff or close their doors due to double-digit tax increases.

READ MORESmall business in Calgary to protest tax increases

“City council needs to step up, they need to care about us small business,” said Angela O Donahue, owner of Esme Beauty. “We employ a huge amount of people in this city. Our businesses are not credit cards for them.”

That is a sentiment shared by rally organizer Kristi Stuart

“Their spending and then the resulting property tax hikes are going to put a lot of us out of business.”

Stuart goes on to say that she’s confident council will approve some sort of tax relief in their emergency meeting.

“Fighting on behalf of us and people who have already received their bills that if this motion is not passed, they will have to close their doors in July.”

Councillors are meeting inside City Hall as they weigh different proposals to provide tax relief to businesses impacted by these tax increases.