Dear BRZ Members:

The hard work of the past year advocating

  • for changes to the residential/non-residential property tax ratio;
  • for help to offset increases in non-residential taxes; 
  • and for cuts to the municipal budget to reduce property taxes

has delivered progress in Council’s November budget deliberations.

After successfully advocating for a 1% point change in the tax ratio last spring, Council voted in November

  • to shift the ratio 3 more percentage points. The new ratio is 48% paid by businesses, 52% paid by residents. (A year ago the ratio was 53% businesses versus 47% residents.)
  • to reduce the 3% increase to their 2020 budget to a 0.07% increase
  • and to make further budget cuts while retaining police, fire, low income transit and two inner City pools in BIAs.
  • to use a further $20-25M from savings to offset some inner -City non-residential property tax increases in 2020 and 2021.

Watch Annie present to Council in the
meeting minutes video (starting at 1:25:30)
Video link

.Calgary’s economy is not fully on the mend yet. Non-residential taxes will likely remain a burden for some businesses in this ontinuing downturn as this fall’s provincial budget reduced provincial funding to the City by $15M while continuing to require 35% of Calgary’s residential and non-residential property taxes for the provincial budget.

The Kensington BRZ’s individual advocacy work over the past year as well as our rallying the other BIAs in Calgary to speak collectively on this issue was instrumental in convincing Council to make these changes to help Calgary businesses..

Overall reductions to non-residential taxes have been negotiated as indicated above and we now have a Council that is fully aware of the need to reform our tax system. I am a citizen member of the financial task force led by the City’s CFO that is exploring ways to improve our property tax system and other possible sources of revenue other than property taxes. It’s worth noting that Kensington was the only BRZ invited to the table for this work..

Here is a copy of the letter sent to Council during the November budget deliberations.

Your ED, Annie

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