City council approves new budget

City council has approved a new four-year budget that will see property taxes in the city rise by 4.5 per cent next year, followed by three consecutive years of 4.7 per cent hikes through to 2018.

The increase means the average Calgary household will part with an extra $71.40 in property taxes
next year.

“This is a lean budget for a growing city,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Council had important debate and discussion about the issues that matter most to citizens – from enhanced snow and ice control to investments in public transit to the fees for water and recycling.

“Unlike other orders of government, we go through every line of the budget and business plan on live TV; it is a very transparent process. I want to thank everyone – citizens, council and administration – who played a role in our work to keep taxes affordable while continuing to deliver important services to Calgarians.”

As part of the new budget, transit pass rates for low-income Calgarians will remain frozen, snow and ice control will receive an additional $5 million in funding in 2015 and 2016, and transit will see a 70,000-hour service increase next year.

Another beneficiary of the new budget will be Old City Hall. Council set aside $35 million for a City-owned Heritage Building Fund, largely to renovate the crumbling sandstone structure that was built in 1911.

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