Why is a 2.1% tax increase the best we can do?
13 December 2019
The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce presented to City Council on December 5 with a clear message: chart a course towards long-term financial sustainability by striving for no increases to property taxes. The business community has asked for a budget that enables businesses to not only survive, but succeed.
The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce made four recommendations to Council to bring spending under control.
- Address the largest category of City spending – employee wages and benefits.
- Evaluate which services are better delivered by other orders of government, non-profit organizations or the private sector.
- Accelerate the adoption of a priority-based budgeting process.
- Prioritize large capital projects to address the City’s high debt-servicing costs.
The City found substantial savings to account for reduced funding from the Province and has done further work to defer or change projects and find efficiencies. Despite these efforts, taxes are still increasing by 2.1% in 2020.
“While the work to find efficiencies has begun, the City of Edmonton must commit to transformational change that will secure a better economic future for our city, its residents, and members of the business community.” Edmonton Chamber President & CEO Janet Riopel said.
“Business owners have done all they can do to reduce costs and weather this never-ending storm.” said Riopel. “Many businesses are at the breaking point and simply cannot afford to pay more. Raising property taxes will do nothing to help us restore our competitive edge and grow the economy."