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Calgary prelim property assessment provides glimpse into 2024 tax increase

Illustrative property tax examples from the City of Calgary, in advance of next week’s budget preview, show the typical single-family homeowner in the city would pay $75 more annually in 2024.

Councillors were provided the preliminary assessment roll for the upcoming year during Wednesday’s Executive Committee meeting, with the typical single residential home valued at $610,000. That’s roughly 10 per cent higher than the 2023 value of $555,000.

What that number means is anyone whose home jumped by more than the typical increase (10 per cent) could pay more than the $75 increase annually. Those whose value didn’t increase by the 10 per cent will pay less than the $75, but still have an increase to property tax bills.

Right now, that $75 equates to a roughly 3.38 per cent increase. Provincial property taxes are also expected to jump by $50 annually, leaving Calgarians with a potential total property tax bill increase of $125. That’s an extra $10 a month.

It could also go higher for the typical homeowner, too.

There’s a slate of 30 potential additions to the budget, totalling $171 million for 2024. The City is also dealing with a steadily rising property tax ratio for non-residential properties, with it projected to reach 4.59 to 1 in 2024.  Council could examine shifting the residential tax burden even further from the 52 (res) to 48 (non-res) split it has right now. That would increase the residential property tax bill.

Examples of potential impact are expected to be delivered with the budget documents next week. The Calgary Chamber of Commerce has advocated for a number of years to reduce the tax ratio to around 2.8 to 1.

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said that growth in the number of residential properties should lessen the burden of a potential further tax shift.

“The number of residential properties has grown more than the number of non-residential properties so there are more residential properties amongst whom to share their proportion of the budget,” she said.

Potential changes for the upcoming budget

Ward 7 Coun. Terry Wong has asked for a breakdown of what a potential shift would look like for homeowners. He’s also asked to see data on how the ratio has fluctuated over the past 15 years or so.

He said he wants citizens to see that if there’s a greater increase, it’s not just because of rising budgets.

“The second part of the equation of course is affordability. Everyone’s seeing rising costs on insurance and rising costs on utilities and everything else, is such that this is going to see in another one of those needles in the haystack,” he said.

As for potential cuts, Coun. Wong said they’ve got to be very specific and very targeted. You can’t set a number and they try to cut that amount, he said.

“I’ve been here before, as you know, in a previous role in administration. The best way to identify cuts is to be very targeted. This is quote, unquote, where the least impact, least risk is to public service, public value is in this area,” Wong said.

Mayor Gondek said she’d wait to see what the budget documents provided before suggesting cuts or additions. She said councillors have spent the past 10 months looking at where gaps are in services.

“All those years that we made cuts, we lost out on infrastructure maintenance funding. We have lost out on improving parks and green spaces for Calgarians. We have not finished roadways and sidewalks because we cut budgets,” she said.  

“So, we need to look at the services that we have not delivered to people that they are now saying, ‘where are the things that I expect to see?’”

Councillors will see the service plans and budgets next week, with council deliberations on the 2024 budget scheduled for Nov. 20.