Alberta | Store Operations

For members with stores in Edmonton: RCC Joins Prosperity Edmonton, Fighting Against Skyrocketing Property Tax Increases

On behalf of Edmonton retailers, RCC has signed on as a founding member of Prosperity Edmonton, a newly formed coalition comprised of associations representing diverse sectors of Edmonton’s business community.

Prosperity Edmonton is an advocacy group of non-profit and for-profit organizations who have united to encourage the City of Edmonton to hold the line on spending and property taxes in the upcoming 4-year municipal budget cycle. We are advocating that the City work harder to find efficiencies to fund new priorities.

City of Edmonton tax revenues over the past six years have increased at a rate three times greater that of inflation and population growth, and just as Edmonton households and businesses must live within their means, Prosperity Edmonton is asking the City to do the same.

RCC is joined by Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, NAIOP Edmonton, Urban Development Institute, Restaurants Canada and Canadian Federation of Independent Business as the founding members of Prosperity Edmonton.

BACKGROUND:

Over the past decade, property taxes per square foot paid by many retailers in Edmonton and Calgary has doubled, increasing by double digits annually. In addition, the overall tax demand in both cities has far outpaced the population growth and inflation.

While other Canadian cities decrease their rates (-4.3% Canada wide), Calgary and Edmonton have the fastest growing tax rates (+11.4% and 8.5% respectively) and because of rising assessments, the highest overall total property tax increases of all Canadian municipalities.

Despite the number of businesses growing only 11% between 2006 – 2016, the overall commercial tax bill from the City of Edmonton rose 124%, including increases right through the current recession.

Many Edmonton businesses are struggling and looking to find savings wherever they can, and Prosperity Edmonton is very concerned that more tax hikes in the upcoming 4-year operating budget will drive jobs out of Edmonton and hurt the City’s opportunities to attract new businesses.

Alberta Retailers face this issue as part of a larger compounding series of pressures, including significant and often costly changes to the Labour Relations Code, Employment Standards Code, Workers Compensation, Occupational Health and Safety and Carbon Tax. This in addition to the minimum wage hitting a North America high of $15.00 this October, as Alberta’s fragile oil linked economy recovers.

For additional insights and supporting statistics, please visit: www.prosperityedmonton.com

Next Steps:

RCC will continue to advocate for the key prosperity messages of the coalition, including representing the voice of retail through media opportunities, and in our discussions with the Mayor and City Councillors.

RCC is seeking members that would be prepared to share their personal stories of impact to the Coalition’s Public Relations company as they help formulate compelling impact statements in support of our efforts.

RCC will continue to keep members up to date on our efforts to influence this upcoming 4-year municipal budget cycle.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact: John Graham, Director, Government Relations (Prairie Region) at 204-926-8624 or jgraham@retailcouncil.org or Mark Startup, Vice President MyStore Division, at (604) 730-5252 or mstartup@retailcouncil.org.

Be heard. Save money. Stay informed.

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