The typical Calgary single-family detached homeowner could see a property tax increase of up to $5 per month with upcoming city budget adjustments.
The city’s budget documents were made available Monday as a part of the annual budget adjustment process in November.
“I want to underscore that this budget is fundamentally about serving Calgarians in tough times and supporting the type of city you want to be in the future as the city continues to mitigate service and financial impacts due to COVID-19 and the economic downturn,” said City Manager David Duckworth.
Calgarians will see a potential tax rate increase of between .64 per cent and .99 per cent. This will depend on council’s direction on the budget. The latter amount involves a potential $6 million increase to the Calgary police budget.
Prior to the budget documents being delivered, some councillors were unsure if the city could freeze taxes this year.
The previously approved tax rate increase for 2022 was 3.46 per cent. City administration found roughly $53 million in savings and reductions to bring the rate down by 2.5 per cent. Roughly $28 million of that is found in an item called budget modernization. This was described as a different way of managing city business unit budgets and their contingencies.
Another $15 million was found in the optimization of financial reserves. Other savings, most being under $1 million helped reach the final $53 million tally.
“This is a modest tax rate increase relative to current inflation rates, growing demand for City services, and the need to support modernized service delivery as The City continues to support Calgarians and businesses through COVID-19 and the economic downturn,” the city admin report reads.
The city did have a base tax rate decrease in the last budget, however, that savings for homeowners was tempered by the transfer of tax burden from city small and medium businesses to residential ratepayers.
Even with that, due to the continued problem of the downtown vacancy, non-residential taxpayers (businesses) saw a significant bump in monthly property taxes.
Total City of Calgary proposed budget is pegged at $4.819 billion in 2022. That’s up from the approved 2021 budget of $4.64 billion.
Single-family homes see the residential increase
The increase for single-family dwellings is based on a projected median home value of $485,000 for 2022. That’s a nearly nine per cent increase in value from 2021.
Overall, a typical Calgary single residential homeowner would have paid $3,296 in annual property taxes in 2021. That amount will rise to as much as $3,384 in 2022.
Taxes on a single residential condo, however, will drop $5 per month. They will also drop for low-rise and high-rise apartments. Condo value is estimated to stay the same year over year at $235,000.
On the non-residential side, most classes will see an increase in their 2022 property taxes. Decreases would be seen in the Hotel / Accommodation class, Retail – 17 Avenue SW class, along with suburban office, according to city projected numbers.
Hotels and accommodations could see a net decrease of 16 per cent – or roughly $265,000 annually on a $65 million property.
The biggest non-residential jump would be seen in the neighbourhood retail shopping centre.
New investments – including a $6 million ask from Calgary police
While there were savings found in the budget, there were also some new investments made with this version of the One Calgary document.
The city is investing nearly $2 million annually until 2024 to build an equity and inclusion program to coordinate this work across city services. They’re also listing a reintroduction of $500,000 to the city’s Indigenous Relations Office, which was reduced in 2019.
An additional one-time request of $1.75 million has been requested to fund the pandemic recovery plan for Calgary parks beautification. Calgary parks were used extensively during the pandemic and this need was brought forward earlier in 2021.
The new budget also includes $3.25 million for the approved resilient roofing rebate program.
There’s also a one-time amount of $2.7 million for a leadership training plan for the Calgary Fire Department.
The Calgary Police Service has requested a $6.08 million increase to the 2022 operating budget. This is in addition to nearly $10 million to add 60 full-time employees, already included in the 2019-2022 budget.
“With this adjustment, the CPS will be able to continue to move forward with transformational change as part of its commitment to create an organization and community that is safe, diverse, inclusive and inspired,” read a letter from the outgoing Calgary Police Commission Chair, Bonita Croft.
The letter goes on to say that it’s become clear in recent months that CPS resourcing is insufficient to meet current and future demands.
With this budget adjustment being tabled, councillors will mull the material over until budget adjustment week from Nov. 22 to 26.