Reduces tax increase to 4.5% while preserving core services
Mayor Naheed Nenshi today released his set of proposals for the 2011 budget for Council’s consideration. The Mayor’s package includes a series of cuts and efficiencies, as well as investments in key priorities for Calgarians.
- limiting the property tax increase to approximately $4.50 per month for the average household (a 32% decrease from the administration proposal);
- cutting the proposed adult transit fare increase in half, while eliminating Park-and-Ride fees and freezing the rate of the low-income transit pass. Calgary Transit will also add 61,000 new hours of service in 2011, and funding for Access Calgary Extra has been restored;
- maintaining the increased level of service and funding in Snow and Ice Control while preserving Council’s flexibility to craft a new system for the winter of 2011/2012;
- reducing costs in the Mayor’s Office; and
- creating an Innovation Fund to help City Hall run experiments and pilot projects, as a first step towards shifting the culture of the city administration. For example, the Mayor is proposing to use a portion of the Innovation Fund to support a series of express bus experiments to key destinations in the City.
“I have suggested for several months that the 2011 budget is about buying time,” said Mayor Nenshi. “Calgarians will see even more changes starting in 2011 as we implement a new process.
“However, this does not mean that we have to accept the status quo. Calgarians have engaged in the new public participation process in record numbers, and have given us great ideas. I’ve tried to craft a budget that reflects their priorities, investing in the things they find important while keeping tax increases reasonable. I hope my Council colleagues will have the appetite for these changes.”
The Mayor’s proposal now goes to City Council as they begin their deliberations on Monday at 9:30 am. All Council deliberations on the budget will happen in public, and Calgarians can attend in person or watch on Shaw Cable 89 or at www.calgary.ca. The process begins, for the first time in many years, with public submissions. Any member of the public may come to Council on Monday morning and speak for five minutes each.
- The Office of the Mayor