December 14, 2016
CALGARY, AB: The See Charter, Think Tax coalition is calling for a reality check for the mayors of Calgary and Edmonton after they signed a letter asking for more tax powers on Tuesday.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson joined the mayors of Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver to ask their premiers for new tax powers. Reportedly, the mayors said they need to ask permission to “do the right thing” for residents.
CTF Submission to the Government of Alberta on the Incoming City Charters
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) greatly appreciates the opportunity to partake in the consultation process around city charters. We attended both the Calgary stakeholder session and public information session. As a non-profit, non- partisan citizens advocacy group with over 90,000 supporters across Canada – many of them living in Calgary and Edmonton – we have substantial concerns about what city charters could mean for taxpayers.
Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments pertaining to the creation of the City Charters through the Municipal Government Act. I am the Executive Director of Common Sense Calgary, an organization dedicated to providing a balanced dialogue about issues important to the citizens of Calgary.
Common Sense Calgary works in the best interests of Calgarians to promote fiscal and ethical responsibility at City Hall, and currently are advocating for no new proposed taxation powers in the City Charters, at least not without citywide referenda. In cooperation with several other organizations, we have been generating media and public awareness related to the proposed City Charters through a coalition titled, "See Charter, Think Tax."Read more
CALGARY, AB: See Charter, Think Tax is a new Alberta-based coalition urging the provincial government to reject calls by Alberta’s big city mayors for the power to impose new taxes. The See Charter, Think Tax coalition is demanding clarity from Premier Rachel Notley and Municipal Affairs Minister Deron Bilous where it stands on city charter arrangements being negotiated with Calgary and Edmonton.Read more
GLOBAL NEWS CALGARY – A newly-formed coalition is urging the provincial government to reject calls by Alberta’s big city mayors for the power to impose new taxes.
Three organizations have banded together to create the Alberta-based “See Charter, Think Tax” coalition: the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and Common Sense Calgary.Read more
CBC CALGARY -- A coalition of taxation watchdog groups says proposed new charters for Calgary and Edmonton are just an attempt by those cities to get the power to levy new taxes.
See Charter, Think Tax is calling on Premier Rachel Notley and Municipal Affairs Minister Deron Bilous to clarify where the new government stands on the charters, which were still on the negotiating table when the Tories were swept from power this spring.
The coalition includes members of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and Common Sense Calgary (CSC). It held a news conference in front of Calgary City Hall Wednesday to get its message out.
"Overspending on the day-to-day operations of cities must be addressed before big-city mayors demand even more from taxpayers," said CFIB Alberta Director Amber Ruddy in a release.
"We recognize cities face budgeting challenges but that is largely a function of poor planning, not a lack of revenue."
Last October, then premier Jim Prentice signed a framework agreement with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson on new charters for their cities.
Prentice said at the time the new arrangement would formally recognize the challenges the big cities face in terms of growing populations, economic growth and overdue infrastructure upgrades.
No new tax powers: Nenshi
The new charters will not give either city any new taxation powers, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has said previously.
The concept of charters for Edmonton and Calgary was agreed to in principle in 2012.
The charters would give both Calgary and Edmonton more power in terms of bylaws regarding some areas that currently fall under provincial authority, creating for-profit corporations to deliver services and programs, and enhancing flexibility and authority around local social policies.
"Taxpayers deserve to have their say in a citywide referendum if any new taxes are being considered," CTF Alberta director Paige MacPherson said in a release.
"Call them tools, levies, powers, charters — these are historic new city taxes Albertans have never seen before. The provincial government should demand the consent of the people."
NEWSTALK 770 CALGARY -- A coalition made up of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Common Sense Calgary are calling on the province to not give cities any new taxing powers.
Both Edmonton and Calgary are asking for city charters to allow them more powers.
The See Charter, Think Tax coalition are concerned that the new powers will lead to higher taxes.
The coalition says overspending in the day to day operations of cities must be addressed before the cities demand even more from taxpayers.
It’s expected we’ll get more detail on this municipal charter in the Alberta budget October 27th. The province recently announced its updated Municipal Government Act would be complete in time for the 2017 municipal elections.Read more