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Calgary inching towards lower taxes

Council voted yesterday to approve the initial budget adjustments, with a few amendments including adding transit hours and restoring Access Calgary funding.

Council voted yesterday to approve the initial budget adjustments, with a few amendments including adding transit hours and restoring Access Calgary funding.

Ald. Gord Lowe proposed the additional hours and said an additional $2 million in revenue from the Calgary Police Service could offset the $2.6-million cost of adding to transit.

Lowe said the chair of the Police Commission, Mike Shaikh, has indicated an increase in revenue from the “speed on green” cameras around the city.

“I’ve since spoken to chairman Shaikh ... and they feel like they can take that now with very little risk.”

Ald. Andre Chabot, who voted against adding transit hours, said making additions to the budget is sending the wrong message.

“This was looking at just getting us to 6.7 (per cent) so if we’re going to be making add-ons to the 6.7 proposed increase, what appetite is there going to be to get it down to 4.5 per cent?”

Despite the additions, Mayor Naheed Nenshi said a 4.5 per cent tax increase is still feasible.

“We can still get to 4.7 (per cent) maybe even 4.5,” he said, “but it all depends on how the conversation goes tomorrow.”

 
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