Our city is one of the main growth engines of the Canadian economy. Affordable housing, infrastructure, transit, and fiscal prudence are issues of importance to me. I do believe that we need to prioritize and balance expectations within a fiscal framework. Ultimately, we as taxpayers, will need to fund any increase in expenditures.
I strongly believe that property tax and business tax increases should be held at the rate of inflation and any additional expenditures will need to be balanced by savings. Accordingly, whether we are looking at a new stadium for our professional sports team or a new Winter Olympics initiative; we must ensure that city council meets a fiscal framework that is in the interest of all Calgarians.
Calgarians want services. Calgarians do not want to pay additional taxes. Elected officials and city administrators need to find a balance. I support a full program review on operational expenditures at City Hall. All departments will be required to find savings. Unfortunately, this will require difficult choices that Calgarians will need to be informed of and consulted on. City Council will need to invest and enhance services in many areas, as a city we cannot become stagnant. However, if tax increases are limited than ultimately alternative revenue sources or additional savings are required. The current City Council has pushed difficult choices onto the next City Council. I will not support any tax increase until the next council receives a full report on operational spending.
Enmax is a public utility, owned by the City of Calgary. The city auditor has recently raised concerns with the city’s metering services which have led to erroneously large water bills. Having personally dealt with Enmax in trying to resolve the over-billing issues has not only been time consuming and difficult. Enmax needs to be transparent, the City of Calgary needs to be transparent with local taxpayers.