You can’t balance the budget on the backs of municipalities; that’s the message from Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi for provincial and federal government leaders as he plans to push major legislative tax reform in 2013.
It’s just one of his three objectives for the coming year.
Nenshi also plans to get transit and city planning pushed through the final third of his current mandate.
He says some serious changes need to be made in the way we pay our taxes.
“Calgary taxpayers send $4-billion a year more to the provincial government than we get back in provincial services,” he says. “We send $10-billion more to the federal government.”
He says people don’t have to live in Calgary, but want to because it’s a great place to live with a transit system that works.
“When I ask for a rebate, those levels of government have to understand if we don’t do things like improve transit those taxpayers will disappear,” he says.
The mayor also wants something called Next City Transforming Planning to be introduced.
“That really is about blowing up the system of how we do planning and making it easier for people to build good stuff, stuff that is in accordance with the city’s plans for our future,” Nenshi says.
He fears it may be too late, but will try and push for campaign finance reform before the 2013 election.
Nenshi’s office has posted a report card on its website so Calgarians can track City Hall’s progress over the coming year.
“2012 was the year of Calgary but I’m positive, with a little hard work, 2013 will be even better,” he says.