Calgary property tax bills to rise

CALGARY –

Calgary homeowners will likely pay between three and four per cent more property tax in 2022.

On the average Calgary home value of $457,900 it will work out to between $65 and $88 more for the year.

The increases come as a result of amendments to the city’s budget.

“Until it all shakes out it’s hard to say what the impact to the average taxpayer will be, but the indications are that it may be a few dollars per month,” said mayor Jyoti Gondek, speaking during a break in discussion Wednesday.

Among the spends were $3 million on the city’s climate plan, which will include new staff and additional money to exchange more than 75 city vehicles for electric models. Climate dollars can also be used to access federal money.

“If we have an opportunity to turn one of our dollars into three dollars, that’s something we have to look at very seriously,” Gondek said.

Another $55 million is going to attract developers to convert more than a million square feet of vacant office towers to residential, a move the city says will likely increase property values and drive up city revenue.

Two big ticket budget increases were also passed – $10 million to hire 56 firefighters and six additional fire investigators – and $6 million for Calgary police to bring in 38 new staff – including 13 officers – to help alleviate the strain on resources.

CPS gave $8 million from its 2021 budget to the community safety investment framework, distributing it among frontline organizations meant to reduce the number of calls that are sent to police.

Four members of council, including mayor Gondek, voted against the budget hike.

Some community activists say the $6 million would be better spent on street level harm reduction and crisis supports.

“It’s just really frustrating,” said LJ Joseph, Vice President of Black Lives Matter YYC. “To see that more money keeps being funneled into CPS when 30 per cent of their calls approximately are these mental health and addiction calls.”

“Police officers, EMS, firefighters, we encounter them at the worst point of our lives,” said Joseph. “Especially for police officers. They come to a situation and it feels like they’ve already kind of determined what kind of situation is going to play out and sometimes it just doesn’t end well.”

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