Calgarians could be looking at a property tax increase in each of the next four years, council members were told at a budget update on Wednesday.
The city’s chief financial officer, Carla Male, told council that the city projects an average annual property tax hike of 3.65 per cent over the four years, including a potential 4.4 per cent increase next year.
However, there are many variables which could affect the final plan city council votes on this November, Male told council.
Mayor Jyoti Gondek says council knows there is very little appetite for any property tax increases.
But City spending is projected to go up over the next four years, thanks to inflation and a growing population.
“We understand it’s a very tough time. We will keep the budget flat but we understand that there’s inflation and population growth to account for.”
Council voted to cap the amount of new spending by the city, using the 3.65 per cent tax hike figure as the ceiling.
Coun. Sonya Sharp says it’s important for council to set boundaries for administration.
“So now is the time for administration to be bold, think outside the box, be innovative, and if that means you need to find inefficiencies in the organization, take things out and put things in, but council needed to set direction today,” she said.
The projected spending plan does not include things like possible additional money for the fire department or climate initiatives.
The next budget update for council will come in September.
The four-year spending plan will be revealed in November, followed by council’s annual budget debate.
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