Several businesses in Calgary are shutting their doors in the face of, in some cases, property tax hikes of over 50%.
Some City Council members point the finger at the provincial government for increasing the educational property tax by 10.2%, but it’s pretty clear that the city’s hands aren’t clean either when it comes to soaring rates.
City Council has increased property taxes three times faster than the inflation rate from 2005 to 2015 and taxes have gone up 181% within the same time frame according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Stats Canada reports the Consumer Price Index at 1.6%, while under Mayor Nenshi, property taxes have increased an average of 7.6% per year.
And now, taxes are about to get worse for Albertans with the implementation of the carbon tax. This includes municipal fees that the city will have to offset by charging us more – for everything.
There are no good outcomes in government overtaxation and it’s counter intuitive. This scenario never works out well. Increasing taxes actually results in lower tax revenues because businesses go bankrupt, which also results in lost jobs. Add to this the problem of foreclosures that can result in evictions and homelessness which can then result in increases in poverty and crime. It’s a vicious cycle.
City spending is out of control and can be cut instead of taking more money out of the pockets of citizens, especially at a time when the province’s economy is suffering and people can afford hikes the least.
It’s clear that in Alberta, with so many unemployed and struggling to stay above water, the focus should be on reducing government spending and not passing the cost of careless decision making on to citizens.