Tuesday, November 24, 2009

City Council approves 2010 - 2011 Business Plan and Budget Adjustments

The City of Calgary continues to have the lowest residential property taxes among major Canadian municipalities after City Council adopted the 2010 operating and capital budgets yesterday.

Next year's property tax hike sits at 4.79 per cent after the approved adjustments to the 2010-2011 business plans, budgets and performance measures or about $4.50 per month.

The approved adjustments respond to the local impacts of global economic change. Given the economic downturn Council approved measures that balance 2010 spending with projected reductions in revenues.

This is the toughest budget that we have had to deliver in years." Mayor Dave Bronconnier said. "It comes with layoffs.It also comes with some program changes, yet we have preserved our key priority areas of public safety, mobility and environmental protection."

The approved adjustments include more than $20 million in cost reductions from tax-supported programs, utilities, and self-supported operations, to help reduce the financial impact on citizens.

Key highlights of the proposed 2010 adjustments to business plans and budgets include:
  • A reduction to short-term downtown parking rates.
  • Elimination of Park n' Ride fees at Bus Rapid Transit parking lots.
  • Retention of an additional 67 positions in the Calgary Police Service budget.
  • An addition $2 million for a two-year snow and ice removal pilot project.
  • An addition of $200 thousand for graffiti abatement on private property in 2010.
  • Maintain 2009 rates for low income transit passes.
  • Reductions in all City departments, including removal of 125 full-time equivalent positions.
  • Addition of 83.7 positions with no net budget impact, more than 60 of which are funded by the provincial government for public safety communications and road maintenance.
  • Additional costs to respond to provincial legislation for the Assessment Review Board.
  • No change in the business tax rate for the 17th consecutive year.

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