See Charter, Think Tax Coalition Calls on Mayors and Premier to Sign Pledge Promising No New Tax Powers Without Citywide Referendums

CALGARY, AB: The See Charter, Think Tax Coalition is calling on Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, and Premier Notley to sign a pledge promising they will not secure new tax powers for Edmonton or Calgary without citywide referendums.

See Charter Think Tax -- For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Municipal Affairs Minister Deron Bilous reportedly told media on October 12th that Alberta’s big city mayors haven’t asked for new tax powers.

“If the mayors aren’t asking for new tax powers, then they and the premier should have no problem signing a pledge confirming that,” said CTF Alberta Director Paige MacPherson.

The City of Calgary has indicated to media that they are beginning public consultations on a list of potential new city taxes, several of which require approval by the provincial government.

“Why would the city be considering new tax powers that need a sign off from the premier, if they aren’t asking for them?” asked Common Sense Calgary Executive Director Stephanie Kusie. “Taxpayers, small businesses and residents need clarity from their provincial government and mayors now.”

For several years the mayors have been open about starting the conversation with the provincial government on new tax powers for cities.

The City of Calgary’s submission to the Municipal Government Act (MGA) review in 2014 called for the city to explore “new financing options to provide a more diverse and sustainable revenue base,” and stressed the need to “diversify The City’s revenue sources [and] lesson reliance on the property tax.”

The City of Edmonton’s submission to 2014 the MGA review called for “a new mix of revenue tools and transfers,” and stated, “the Province does not rely on one form of taxation, neither should Edmonton.”

“Did the mayors suddenly change their tune on new taxing powers, or are they simply playing a game where they are calling city tax powers by another name?” asked Canadian Federation of Independent Business Alberta Director Amber Ruddy. “If the minister’s assertions are true, signing this pledge should be no trouble at all.”

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See Charter, Think Tax’ is an Alberta-based coalition launched to demand taxpayers and small businesses have their say in any new city tax powers. The coalition is comprised of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Common Sense Calgary.www.seecharterthinktax.ca


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