2023-2026 Service Plans and Budgets Recap: Council decision highlights
CALGARY - Today, Council approved the 2023-2026 Service Plans and Budgets, a roadmap for how The City will support Calgarians and businesses over the next four years. This budget provides a solid path forward by maintaining or improving all City services.
After thorough deliberation and using sound financial management, Council leveraged the projected favourable operating variance in 2022 for critical, responsive measures to provide support and investment for our community. Council also took steps to begin implementation of Resilient Calgary: Council’s Strategic Direction 2023-2026, by:
· Improving public transit by maintaining transit fees at 2022 levels in 2023, having children 12 and under ride free, lowering the cost of the weekend family pass, and adding transit bus shelters and benches.
· Continuing to support Calgary’s Mental Health and Addiction Strategy to maintain community programming and activate new partnerships between the Calgary Police Service and community organizations.
· Furthering the Downtown Strategy by continuing to convert unused office space into residential units and post-secondary institutions.
· Building new amenities in our established communities and neighborhoods sooner, after a Local Area Plan is completed.
· Accelerating our investment in community mobility improvements for the Always Available for All Ages and Abilities (5A) Network, a city-wide network consisting of off-street pathways and separated on-street bikeways.
· Eliminating permit and license fees for outdoor patios in 2023.
· Enhancing our support for community and civic partners.
· Providing additional funding to the Calgary Fire Department by increasing supports for firefighters and response performance.
· Progressing affordable housing including the Rapid Housing Initiative & Housing Accelerator.
· Committing additional funding to the Foothills Field House, supporting Council’s November 2022 funding request to the Federal and Provincial Government for this transformational project.
· Advancing Truth and Reconciliation within the corporation and furthering our relations with First Nations, Metis and Urban Indigenous Communities.
These amendments add to the 2023-2026 operating and capital budget highlights which can be found in the Nov. 8 release. They do not affect taxes as they use anticipated savings in 2022 because of sound financial management and higher franchise fees received from electricity and natural gas utilities due to increased market prices.
Tax share and rate implications
To support businesses and our local economy, Council directed Administration to return early next year with further options regarding the distribution of residential and non-residential taxes for 2023. This is along with an examination of reserves and other funding sources which may be able available to reduce property taxes on a one-time basis in 2023.
Calgary collects only as much property tax revenue as needed to provide City services. As such, there will be an average annual increase of 3.7 per cent over the next four years in the total amount of tax collected from existing properties.
As outlined above, the decisions made next year on the proportional tax share may impact individual property tax rates for 2023. At present, the starting point increase for a typical single residential property tax bill in 2023 is 5.2 per cent or $9.83 per month.
Tax Instalment Payment Plan (TIPP) monthly payments from January to June will factor in The City's approved 2023 budget; more information is available at calgary.ca/tipp. Property tax assistance is available to eligible low-income homeowners. More information can be found at calgary.ca/fairentry.
Visit calgary.ca/YourServices for more information on the 2023-2026 Service Plans and Budgets.