Loading articles...

City admits layoffs and cuts to services are not off the table

Last Updated Jun 12, 2019 at 11:14 am MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Following a business tax rollback, city council is looking for $60 million in budget reductions. So where does city hall make cuts?

Several councillors have stated it won’t be easy to find places to make reductions and earlier this week many public unions said they were approached by the city, asking for them to cut back wages

However, Franco Terrazzano with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) says cutting the $60 million from the city’s budget shouldn’t be as difficult as some councillors make it sound.

He says there are a couple of pet projects that should be on the chopping block.

“First area that city council needs to cut is that 100-million dollar corporate welfare fund. City councillors are trying to grow the economy which is a good thing, but what they’re doing is they’re hammering all Calgarians with higher taxes and taking that money to pick business winners and losers.”

Terrazzano says that the city should also look at its golden pension plan.

In a statement emailed to CityNews, City Manager Glenda Cole said the budget cuts may include reductions and/or the elimination of programs, services, staffing positions or new savings based on voluntary wage roll-backs.

“For 2019, Council directed the savings for a 2019 Phased Tax Program that will benefit the owners of approximately 11,900 properties. It is anticipated the positive economic benefit will be shared with business tenants within these non-residential properties when the PTP credit is passed on by property owners.

In the days ahead, Administration will work to determine what these reductions will mean and how to best address them using the least harm approach to services.”

READ MORE: ‘Look somewhere else’ Unions say no to wage rollbacks

For Terrazano, he says spending cuts from the city are long overdue.

“We need to think of that in the context of years of overspending where city council has increased the budget by hundreds of millions of dollars during a downturn when everyone else was tightening their belt. The sky is not falling here, it doesn’t even go far enough.”

The CTF will be holding a forum on Monday night titled ‘Cut The Fat.’