Nenshi pans tax relief proposal pitched by council colleagues – Calgary Herald

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi Darren Makowichuk / Postmedia Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says a plan being backed by a majority of councillors to slash commercial tax bills this year by 10 per cent while also imposing budget cuts will come with significant hurdles.“I believe that new plan goes too hard, too fast for marginal improvements,”…

Nenshi pans tax relief proposal pitched by council colleagues – Calgary Herald

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi

Darren Makowichuk / Postmedia

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says a plan being backed by a majority of councillors to slash commercial tax bills this year by 10 per cent while also imposing budget cuts will come with significant hurdles.“I believe that new plan goes too hard, too fast for marginal improvements,” said Nenshi in a statement posted on his Facebook Saturday.“While it would help some small businesses more than the previous plan in the short term it could hurt other Calgarians, and may go on to create a larger structural problem next year when property taxes return to the status quo.”The proposal was revealed Friday and was signed by 10 members of council. It would see almost $131 million used to reduce bills for non-residential tax accounts through a phased tax program.According to its backers, almost $71 million would come from funds set aside for tax relief and $60 million through budget cuts, including the reduction or elimination of programs, services and staffing positions.Several of those who pitched the proposed plan to be debated Monday were critical Nenshi’s leadership as well as previous councils for not addressing the looming tax burden that’s hit city businesses, forcing some to close shop. The mayor and past councils were also singled out for not striking an appropriate balance in the business-to-residential property tax ratio, among other criticisms.North-central Calgary Coun. Jyoti Gondek, who was not a signatory to Friday’s proposal but supports it, criticized Nenshi’s reaction.“Leadership means knowing when to push your own ideas, and when to regroup as a collective because an emergency is calling for immediate action,” she wrote Saturday in a series of messages posted on Twitter.“To not support this collaborative effort signals an unwillingness to put self-interest aside in the face of a crisis for the business community. I applaud m
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