It all started, more than twenty years ago, when I ran against former mayor Al Duerr and his proposed “Go-Plan” to raise taxes Even though The Calgary Business community cried out saying that they could not afford any more taxes.The over taxation attempt was defeated.
Now, our current mayor, Mr.Nenshi is repeating history by signing a letter asking the province for more taxation powers.
City Tax reform
Understanding the nature and the extent of the challenge, and the consequences:
A property tax increase or redistribution will significantly impact smaller and mid-sized companies.
This will result in many unfortunate consequences: layoffs, companies experiencing losses, businesses shutting down or moving out of the city and owners having to use their own personal savings to stay afloat.
Landlords so often use minor property tax increases as justification for massive increases in rent.
Increase to minimum wage, carbon tax and the economic downturn is multiplying the cost of unsustainable tax system.
The vacancy rates and loss of jobs in our downtown core has increased the pressures on other businesses outside of our downtown core.
In Calgary, the average consumer debt, excluding mortgages, is $28,927. (29000)
Canadians aged 46 – 55 years have become the most indebted generation in Canada.
I have a plan of three stages:
To reform the tax system we will need, immediate, short-term and long-term solutions.
The long term:
This will require a panel of experts to lay down the blue print for reforming the civic tax system.
I am proposing freezing taxes for a workable period of time – possibly 3 years, in order to provide an element of stability in our residents’ lives, while working on reforming the tax system.
I will move towards parking unfunded projects, eliminating waste, consolidating operations and generate the conditions for economic growth, while modernizing and simplifying rules, regulations and by-laws. Using this formula would enable eliminating the deficiencies in the system that have historically led to many unnecessary increases in taxes, fees and other charges.