Inventory of tax and utility relief programs does get the go-ahead
Couns. Sean Chu’s and Ward Sutherland’s two-part tax motion was half successful when it was brought before city council members at their July 28 meeting.
In a unanimous vote it was agreed that the city should compile an inventory of programs that provide tax and utility relieffor Calgarians.
However, the second part of the motion was defeated in an 8-7 vote. That motion would have empowered administration to prepare a study outlining the impacts of tax and utility increases on low-income households when it comes to the council adjusting its budget.
“A new created framework ascertains the effects of a proposed tax and utility rate increase before the rate decision is made will allow us to make a more informed budgetary decision,” said Chu. “This will put a human face to the numbers and provide active protection to Calgary’s most vulnerable citizens and groups.”
Councillors opposed to this motion referenced the logistics it would take to implement this kind of study, and the fact that some of the costliest utilities are actually not set by the city.
Coun. Andre Chabot said he felt uncomfortable about giving one tax group a break over another.
“If you start taking off amounts on certain groups or certain businesses or certain individuals you have to pass on that cost to someone else.
“I see it challenging to give someone a break and make someone else pay. “
Other than Chabot, the elected officials who rejected the second part of the motion were:
• Mayor Naheed Nenshi
• Coun. Jim Stevenson
• Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra
• Coun. Evan Woolley
• Coun. Druh Farrell
• Coun. Ray Jones
• Coun. Brian Pincott
Supporting Chu’s and Sutherland’s motion were:
• Coun. Joe Magliocca
• Coun. Richard Pootmans
• Coun. Peter Demong
• Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart
• Coun. Shane Keating