Monday, February 23, 2009

More Tax Logic from Calgary City Hall!

Calgary City Council will be debating the issue of implementing a yet another TAX on Calgarian's today. Supporters of this new Real Estate Tax include our wonderful, forward thinking Mayor, Dave ( Let's Tax 'Em) Bronconnier. This new tax, if approved, will apply a 1% levy of the sale of all homes in the City of Calgary along with a levy on the land development industry on new and redeveloped properties.

Look at the math.... On a sale of a $400,000 home, the tax would equal $4,000!!! Add on the realtor fees of approximately $7000 and the average homeowner is taking a massive hit. The timing of this tax proposal could not be worse. Calgary home prices have fallen 10-20% from their peak in July 2007. Anyone that bought their 1st home in 2007 likely now owes MORE than their home is worth. Imagine if a family was forced to sell their home following a job loss in this market and had to pay this additional tax?

The home builders in Calgary are suffering badly due to this downturn. Ask any Tradesperson how busy they are right now? Take a look around the new neighborhoods and see how many empty lots are sitting there vacant! Yet the City thinks its wise to look at adding an additional tax on this industry?

Mayor Bronconnier's idea is to use this additional tax money to address the shortage of affordable housing in this city. While the "Red Tory" in me agrees that there is a severe shortage of affordable housing in Calgary and that something must be done, this tax proposal is not the right way to go about it. Rather than TAX TAX TAX...why doesn't our Mayor show some creativity and leadership and look for some alternate ideas?

  • Given Bronconnier's lack of vision, perhaps Calgary can follow Edmonton's lead on this issue.
  • I would also support tax BREAKS to landlords that properly convert basement suites.
  • Why doesn't the City use funds from its profitable operations ( EG. Calgary Parking Authority) to fund affordable housing?

Any other ideas??? I applaud Alderman Ric McIver once again for opposing this tax proposal and will watch to see how this progresses but council will likely shelve this idea until the fall. In the meantime, I hope that this tax proposal will die a quick death and that Council will step up and come up with some creative alternatives.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Good Call Tiny... I agree with what you are saying. Calgary has a love affair with their cars and the urban sprawl. I am guilty of this, as I live in the Deep, Deep South... I would have loved to live in the inner city, but could not justify the additional $200,000 for a smaller home.

  3. Jeremy Zhao to me
    show details 11:26 PM (9 hours ago) Reply

    I could not post a comment on your blog because the word verification would not load the picture, so I am sending you this comment I had:

    "I had to comment on this not so much about the transfer tax, but just two points both related to Ric McIver himself.

    a) From following news stories and articles, it seems to me that the media loves only reporting how Ric McIver voted. They seem to filter out the importance or priority of other aldermen and choose Ric McIver as their main man. I do not have a term for this, but I'll just deem it "media propelled democracy" as fitting for this very interesting observation. The media seems to provide alderman Ric McIver with an advantage since election time is not far off. Would this make other people who would want to run for mayor at a disadvantage? While I've discussed this point, I do not full agree that the media would be responsible for creating any election advantage. However their presence is very important.

    b) This point was based off of a comment I read somewhere and I thought I would share it. The argument was that Ric McIver would make a great small town mayor based on how he votes. His nickname "Dr. No" is derived from his voting pattern. However, although many vocal online users want him to be elected, his style may not be suitable or helpful to a major city like Calgary's. He seems to selectively micromanages the budget on cost items that are very insignificant in the overall budget. It is almost unwise to do this when you cannot see the broader picture or a large-scale budgeting for a 1 million plus city. That being said, I will offer a counterargument on this point on my blog.

    Just my observations for today."



  4. Hi Jeremy, I posted your email above. Thanks for your post...

  5. Thank you very much! I see the system works now!