PRESS RELEASE – Immediate Tax Relief for Calgary Businesses

Calgary, Alberta and Quebec City, Quebec – May 30, 2019

City Council is very aware of the significant tax burden on Calgary businesses as a result of the severe economic downturn. Like the Government of Alberta, we also believe it is critical to reduce business taxes in Calgary.  With the Province’s past practice of taking approximately $780M out of Calgary each year from our property taxes – we must all immediately work together to solve this problem. 

Today we jointly announce that we will bring forward an Urgent Notice of Motion on June 17 directing Administration to:

  1. Apply the $70.9 million immediately to non residential taxpayers.
  2. Request admin to find an additional $60 million in savings in 2019 and beyond.
  3. Formally request our partners in the provincial government to match the $60M.
  4. Commit to apply this $190.9M in savings to the non-residential property tax accounts on a basis proportional to their increases.

While many paths have been explored to resolve the problem without consensus and Council, collectively, did not have the leadership to develop one path forward, the undersigned have since worked tirelessly and collaboratively both at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Conference and in Calgary on an immediate course of action. Today, as a unified group of City Councillors, we are taking forward a plan to address the immediate need for tax relief to the businesses that drive the Calgary economy and make this a world-class city.

Today, several Councillors – Shane Keating, George Chahal, Ward Sutherland, Jyoti Gondek, Peter Demong, Jeff Davison, Joe Magliocca, Druh Farrell and Gian-Carlo Carra – and Mayor Naheed Nenshi collaborated from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Quebec City, along with Councillors Diane Colley-Urquhart, Sean Chu, Ray Jones, and Evan Woolley locally in Calgary to announce a plan to provide substantial relief to Calgary businesses.

We as Councillors are taking this extraordinary leadership role to address the tax burden that has been placed on the Calgary’s business community. We will continue to work in close partnership with the provincial government in this regard. 

“We can assure Calgary’s business community that we have heard you loud and clear, and have been working diligently to find a solution. With the help of our partners at the province, we will be able to provide immediate, substantial tax relief, particularly for those who need it the most. We are unified on this step forward to reduce City operating costs and keep businesses open and Calgarians working. This only works with the help of property owners who need to ensure this relief is passed on to their tenants.”

Councillors Shane Keating, George Chahal, Ward Sutherland, Jyoti Gondek, Peter Demong, Jeff Davison, Joe Magliocca, Sean Chu, Ray Jones, Evan Woolley, Diane Colley-Urquhart, Gian-Carlo Carra, Druh Farrell, Mayor Naheed Nenshi