EDMONTON, CANADA - December 9, 2016 - Edmonton Chamber Calls on City to Strive for Zero Tax Increase
The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is calling on the City of Edmonton to use a portion of its reserve fund to reduce property taxes in 2017.
Edmonton City Council is debating its operating budget today, which, if approved, would see property taxes rise 3.1 per cent in 2017. The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce has asked City Council to strive for no increases in property taxes until the economy improves.
“There are signs that 2017 will be at least as difficult as 2016. Many of our members feel that some of our toughest times may well lie ahead,” said Janet Riopel, President & CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. “That’s why we are calling for a pragmatic, no-frills budget that focuses on delivering essential services more efficiently.”
The Chamber provided City Council with several recommendations on areas where money could be saved including:
Speeding up the Program and Services Review and implementing any identified savings immediately. Strengthening procurement, project management and change control processes to scope projects more accurately, and to avoid major time and cost overruns. Using a portion of its $28 million Financial Stabilization Reserve to offset the property tax increase in 2017.
The Chamber is not calling for cuts to City jobs or core services, which would only make bad times worse.
“We’re encouraging City Council to make the same tough, cost-saving decisions that businesses are having to make in order to avoid layoffs and sending people home, or even having to close up shop,” said Riopel. “Businesses and families simply cannot absorb more costs right now.”
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