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City council talks taxes and budget for 2020

Last Updated Nov 13, 2019 at 9:44 am MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Mayor Naheed Nenshi spoke to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce Wednesday morning as budget talks continue.

Council is hammering out the details for next year’s budget and offered different proposals involving tax increases and possible cuts to the police force.

In July, council tasked administration to come up with plans for a 1.5 per cent tax increase or a tax freeze in 2020 after council already approved a three per cent increase.

Under the 1.5 per cent proposal, the average homeowner would pay around $30 more a year. The proposal would also include around 180 full-time positions being cut, maintenance in parks would be slashed, but the police budget would be preserved.

READ MORE: Reduction in city wages on the table as council meets at City Hall

With the tax freeze, another 58 jobs would be cut, and the police budget would be cut by $8.5 million dollars.

“I would urge my colleagues on council to really be thoughtful about saving 25 cents versus having a really big impact in people’s lives,” said Nenshi.

The original three per cent increase would mean around $60 dollars more a month on residential property taxes.

There are concern homeowners will be stuck with the bill at the expense of saving business Nenshi said he and council are attempting to make it palatable.

“If we increase by 3.02 per cent, we’ll have the lowest residential taxes in the country. If we increase them by 1.5, we’ll have the lowest residential taxes in the country. If we increase them by zero, we’ll still have the lowest residential taxes in the country,”

Calgarians can share their thoughts on the budget proposals online.

Council will begin deliberations on Nov. 25


With files from CityNews