Visitor Column: Olympics include massive property tax hike


Assume the Olympics ought to come to city?

Then put together for a big property tax improve or two.

That’s not worry mongering. It’s the reality.

The Metropolis of Calgary doesn’t have any more money mendacity round to pay for the Olympics. Metropolis council must discover the cash someplace – and that someplace is you.

The invoice received’t be low cost both.

Final 12 months, the Metropolis of Calgary estimated taxpayers must pay $2.four billion to host the Olympics.

Now we’re advised the invoice for the Olympics will probably be over $three billion – a 25% improve in simply over a 12 months.

Surprisingly, many on council didn’t appear to blink on the latest soar in prices. Maybe property tax will increase aren’t an issue for politicians with golden pensions?

Proponents of internet hosting the Olympics prefer to level out that the federal authorities and provincial authorities will assist pay a part of the large invoice, however that’s like saying the federal government will take the cash out of your left pocket as an alternative of your proper pocket.

You, in fact, pay provincial and federal taxes, too.

We additionally want to remember the provincial and federal governments have ballooning debt earlier than factoring in the price of internet hosting the Olympics.

Canada’s federal authorities debt is presently rising by over $2 million each hour. Provincial authorities debt is rising by over $1 million each single hour. They haven’t any more money.

If the Olympics supplied an infinite financial profit – as proponents like to say – one may perceive making a bid.

However unbiased economists have indicated that’s simply not the case.

College of Concordia Professor Moshe Lander appeared on the numbers and famous, “the financial advantages aren’t there.”

College of Calgary Economics Professor Trevor Tombe famous the so-called advantages had been “completely” overstated.

One must also observe that Professor Tombe’s analysis concluded that when Vancouver hosted the 2010 Olympics, there was “no obvious change in Vancouver’s employment charge earlier than, after, or through the Video games relative to Canada as a complete.”

Thus, Calgary shouldn’t financial institution on “job creation” from internet hosting the Olympics.

So what are we left with?

Indisputably, the Olympics can be a enjoyable occasion for many who can afford tickets. Nobody would deny that. However the occasion is something however a necessity and too many in our metropolis simply can’t afford the invoice.

A number of days in the past, we discovered Calgary’s unemployment charge elevated from 7.9% to eight.2%. Issues are headed within the improper route.

Think about what extra property tax will increase will do to struggling companies and households.

Throughout the latest recession, metropolis corridor saved elevating taxes and plenty of companies shut down – usually citing rising taxes as contributing components. The Abruzzo restaurant, Studio Revolution Health and the Riley & McCormick western put on retailer are just some examples.

What about households?

What number of can afford a property tax hike to pay for the Olympics?

It’s laborious to determine the precise quantity, however the truth that Calgary meals banks are nonetheless reporting excessive utilization is just not signal.

So vote “No” in opposition to internet hosting the Olympics. Even in case you can afford the invoice, voting “No” may also help your neighbour who might not be so fortunate.

Colin Craig is an area Calgary author and a volunteer with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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