The City of Calgary has released its Proposed Adjustments to 2013-2014 business plans and budgets in advance of Council deliberations, which begin on November 26.
Overall the economy and social outlook for Calgary have remained stable and there have been no major changes since the 2012-2014 Business Plan & Budget was approved by Council. As a result of this stability, Administration is proposing that adjustments be made only to the most critical areas so the previously approved tax rates of 5.7% and 6.1% for 2013 and 2014, can be maintained.
The proposed adjustments released today, maintain the focus on key priority areas identified in Council’s Fiscal Plan and reflects feedback from citizens.
“We had extensive citizen engagement and a lot of input from City Council into creating our three year budget through something called Council’s fiscal plan. Our goal for this year was to make sure that Calgary’s economy hadn’t changed very much, that we could still capture the millions of dollars in savings from efficiencies that Council approved the last time”, said Mayor Nenshi.
Back in June 2012, The City talked to citizens again to see if Calgarians’ priorities had changed. Then Administration used that feedback to develop the proposed adjustments.
Mayor Nenshi said that “because we think that Calgary’s economy is stable and things are going well, we are only making adjustments in very critical areas. We believe that these investments in areas like 9-1-1 for example, can fit within the funds available now. In short, we can make sure that the previously approved property tax will stay the same even while we make some more investments in things that are important”.
Meeting the demands of growth while balancing affordability with resources needed to deliver front-line services remains a challenge for The City. The demand for City services continues to rise at the same time as The City experiences increasing costs for materials and equipment, and increased competitiveness in the labour market.
Growth in the assessment base has resulted in slightly higher property tax revenues than originally predicted partially offset by higher costs and lower than anticipated franchise fees from the water utility. The net result is an increase in available base funding of $8.5 million in 2013 and $10.4 million in 2014. Administration has proposed adjustments of equal net amounts, resulting in a balanced budget in 2013 and 2014 with no change in the previously-approved tax rates.
Total spending proposed on the adjusted operating budgets is approximately $3.0 billion for 2013 and 3.1 billion for 2014.
The City of Calgary is interested in citizen feedback. The next phase of engagement on the budget adjustment process begins today. There are a variety of opportunities for citizens:
- Visit www.calgary.ca/ourfuture to view the highlights of the proposed adjustments to 2013-2014 business plans and budgets or download an electronic copy of the document.
- Provide input on specific adjustments through the comment box at the bottom of the “Let’s Talk” page at www.calgary.ca/ourfuture or contact 311.
- Make a submission to Council.
Calgarians who are unable to attend the meeting and/or would like their submission to be distributed with the Council meeting agenda, must deliver their submission to the City Clerk on or before November 15, 2012:
Mail to: City Clerk, #8007,
City of Calgary
P.O. Box 2100,
Postal Station M
Calgary, Alberta T2P 2M5
Fax: (403) 268.2362
Hand deliver to: City Clerk’s
Main Floor, Historic City Hall
700 Macleod Trail S.E.
For questions regarding meeting procedures or to schedule a time to address Council during the Public Hearing on November 26, contact the City Clerk’s Office at (403) 268.5827 by 4:30 p.m., Friday, November 23.
City Council will review the operating and capital budgets beginning on November 26 at 9:30 a.m. in the Council Chamber.