Drop in tax revenue forces Calgary to re-evaluate
CALGARY, Alta. — Not long ago it seemed the Alberta economy was unstoppable, but there’s a new reality now and nowhere is it more clear than in Calgary where $126 million in projects may be stalled.
Some much-anticipated road projects are among those that could be put on hold while the newly-formed City Council struggles to meet budget demands. The recommendation to put the projects on the back burner comes from planning and financial officials, but new mayor Dave Bronconnier says he’s looking for alternatives.
“We can’t continue to defer major transportation projects in this city,” he tells media. “I’m not going to allow it.” However, that will become clear over the course of next month’s budget deliberations.
The major cause for concern in Calgary is the province’s decision to reduce municipalities’ fuel tax transfers from five cents per litre to 4.25 cents as a result of dropping oil prices.
Ald. John Schmal is one outraged by the proposal. “Traffic is bad enough today. We shouldn’t have to screw it up any further,” says Schmal. “It’s a disgrace, an absolute disgrace.”
Another alderman, Diane Colley-Urquhart, suggests the province needs to hike fuel taxes so they don’t have to reduce the municipalities’ share.
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