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Taxation and cost of living in Calgary

I have been asked why I continue to talk about the importance of fiscal responsibility and controlling taxes. The reason this is so important is that it effects so many areas important to the city including retaining and attracting business to Calgary.

In a recent major announcement from Infosys that it intends to expand its operations in Calgary creating up to 500 new jobs, President Ravi Kumar, stated:

"Calgary was a very important destination for us and we selected it for a number of reasons, the cost of living is low, there is a great availability of talent from traditional industries, you have a very good academic ecosystem, good quality of living and more importantly we could be the beacon for building a vibrant tech and digital services ecosystem."

Note that the first reason given was that the cost of living was low. This is an example of how important keeping the cost of living low can be to the city in many ways that may not be immediately obvious. In this case it helped encourage new business and jobs in Calgary.

Increasing residential taxes can certainly impact on the cost of living in Calgary. The chart above illustrates how taxes have increased in relation to changes in personal income (income data from Calgary Economic Development). It can be easily seen how taxation has outpaced income growth by an increasingly wide margin and if left unchecked will have very negative impacts on the cost of living in Calgary. This is another reason why I will be fighting for increased fiscal responsibility at City Hall.

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