By: Emmanuel Ajayi

What’s Calgary city council discussing that may impact home owners?

Tags: Calgary city council 

If you’re a homeowner in our city of Calgary, no doubt you pay some attention to the local government scene. Your chief concerns likely relate to your property assessment. However, keep in mind that a range of decisions made by the mayor and city councilors can impact anyone who owns properties. Let’s take a look at the sorts of issues being debated at the city level.

Property taxes

You’re probably already familiar with what’s happening to your 2022 property taxes but it’s worth a mention. As you know, the taxation rate is reviewed each year in connection with Calgary’s budget. After subtracting revenue from permits, license fees, and provincial grants, the city decides what monies need to be raised in property taxes.
Although this year Calgary officials were hopeful that a tax increase for homeowners wouldn’t be needed, city revenues have dropped. In the end, a 3.87 % raise in taxes was approved which translates into about $6.20 more each month for the average residential property.

Calgary’s continual growth

How to proactively plan for new development is an ongoing debate for all large cities. Issues like neighborhood density, sufficient infrastructure, adequate green space, and proximity of a range of services come into play. Understandably, opinions can differ about the best approach.
In 2018, the city council give full support to 14 new residential developments. Perhaps you’ve bought a home in one of these? Calgary’s government took a different view in 2020 when it came to approving 11 other developments. In this case, they voted unanimously against the proposals. These 11 will be reconsidered in 2022. So, depending on where you live and how the vote goes, you could see more residential growth nearby.

Green Line LRT

This is a slow-moving initiative. Nevertheless, it’s good to be aware of the status of the $5.5-billion Green Line LRT. It’s the largest infrastructure endeavor the city has ever attempted. The first phase runs from 16th Avenue N. to Shepard and should be finished after the next city election, more than four years into the future.
Maybe you’re looking forward to a shorter daily commute once the line is opened. Expect lots of discussion and media coverage as this project continues.

Commercial vacancies in the city core

There are now more office vacancies in Calgary’s downtown than ever before. Certainly, much of this can be attributed to people working from home during the pandemic. Remarkably, in our city’s case, vacancy rates are over double the national average.
This can spell trouble for plans Calgary has for promoting more economic diversity and increasing the property tax base. If the situation cannot be remedied, there’s a risk that the tax burden may shift to property owners outside the downtown area. It will be interesting to see if some commercial spaces can be repurposed for residential accommodation – an idea that has been talked about across the country.
Thanks for listening to my insights. Remember, if you’re in the market to sell or buy property I’m here to serve your needs.