With parking fine increases declined last week at city committee, Calgary city council may already be looking at a bump in the 4.8 per cent projected tax increase.

That potential loss of city revenue is just one component of a budget battle looming at city hall, as city aldermen will be asked to approve amendments for the 2010 budget year starting today.

Declined parking fine increases and a reduction in short-term parking fees could cost the city nearly $4 million in anticipated revenue. Couple that with nearly $7 million still on the table in unfunded projects, and 4.8 per cent could suddenly be six per cent again.

“The money has to be found in one of two places. It’s either found in the rest of the operating budget, or the mill rate is bumped up to compensate,” said finance committee chair Ald. Gord Lowe.

Lowe’s not certain which of the six unfunded initiatives, if any, would be approved by council, leaving the final tax increase up in the air.

The city will also be required to withdraw $13.7 million of its fiscal sustainability reserve, upon approval, in order to keep the tax increase at 4.8 per cent.

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