Council received the “buffet” of budget cut options Mayor Naheed Nenshi asked for yesterday and will look to trim the tax rate even more.

During a special meeting of council, administration presented council with a list of reductions totalling more than $47 million to reach the proposed tax rate increase of 6.7 per cent.

In addition to those cuts, administration came forward with more budget reduction options to the tune of more than $36 million, which would reduce the tax increase by nearly four per cent.

“If we were to go with the 6.7 per cent budget, I think Calgarians would be satisfied with the services they receive, however there is a desire for us to explore options to take that tax increase below $6.60 per month,” said Nenshi.

Administration organized the additional $35-million options into groups based on their level of impact on citizens.

“I don’t think council will have an appetite for that full $35 million ... but I certainly think there’s stuff in there that we can have a very good discussion about,” said Nenshi.

Ald. Andre Chabot said the recommendations for the $47 million in cuts would be easy for council to swallow.

“The 6.7 (per cent) isn’t an issue,” he said. “The question is can we reduce it further. I think right now, it’s a big challenge.”

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