Calgary budget cuts: You make the call

Administration is to come back to Calgary city council with budget cuts in July

calgary city hall, calgary budget
Calgary's Historic City Hall. COURTESY CITY OF CALGARY

Calgary city council approved a business tax relief plan Monday and with it comes $60 million in cuts to the Calgary budget.

While most of council agreed this plan was a short term “band-aid” solution and that an overhaul to the taxation regime was needed, they tasked administration to come back with a package of cuts that could be made to city operations.

Council was told Monday that there’s a tax supported budget of $1.8 billion.

RELATED: Calgary cycling, walking coordinator removal not a victory: Coun. Farrell

“We’re giving (administration) a month and a bit. I’m concerned that we’ll be doing this off-the-cuff and making rash decisions. And the last thing we need is to be reckless,” said Coun. Druh Farrell.

To which Mayor Nenshi replied: “Frankly, there’s not enough time to be that thoughtful.”

Councillors pitched a variety of ideas during Monday’s debate on how to cut the Calgary budget – with varying priorities. More than once, job postings for the city’s walking and cycling coordinator came up. So did $100 million in the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund.

But we thought we’d put some of the decision making in your hands.

Calgary budget cut ground rules

First, there are basic ground rules.

If you use the ‘Other’ section, your response needs to be respectful. Otherwise, please don’t use it. Same with any comments.

For the purpose of this poll, it’s also important to differentiate between tax-supported operations and things like capital expenditures. Sure, while building the Green Line eventually costs operational cash, saying we should cut it today doesn’t address the need to cut $60 million from today’s operational cash.

(That’s not to suggest the Green Line should be cut, either…)

To help you with this, here’s a link to what your property taxes fund. We’ve mirrored most of these options in the poll – but you’re going to have to click through to understand what areas they cover.

Once we gather some answers over the course of the next week, we’ll expand upon this further to see where specifically in these general areas you’d like the cuts to happen.

Finally – you get three things to cut. You have to make the tough choices of where you want your tax dollars spent or cut.  

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About Darren Krause 235 Articles
Journalist, husband, father, golfer, writer, painter, video gamer, gardener, amateur botanist, dreamer, realist... never in that order.

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