CALGARY — The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says Calgary's civic leaders are getting paid too much at a time when other Calgarians are struggling due to a slowdown in the oilpatch.
The taxpayers group suggests city councillors should take a five per cent pay cut and Mayor Naheed Nenshi should shave his salary by 10 per cent.
It also recommends the city should push for a five per cent rollback for all municipal government employees in future contract negotiations.
The taxpayers federation says the reductions would save $119 million next year, which could be used to lower property taxes by almost 2.6 per cent.
Mayor's salary over $218,000
A City of Calgary website says the mayor's total salary is more than $218,000 a year, while councillors get over $116,313.
The taxpayers group says city documents show salaries, wages, overtime and benefits account for 45 per cent of Calgary's tax-supported expenditures.
"Reducing pay and perks means reducing property taxes,'' Alberta spokeswoman Paige MacPherson said in a release Monday.
"Calgary workers and businesses are taking wage cuts and layoffs to stay afloat. Government employees should join reality and help take the burden off taxpayers.''
"Government employees should join reality and help take the burden off taxpayers."
The taxpayers federation is also calling for councillors to scrap what it calls their gold-plated pensions.
Salaries for the mayor and council are increased or decreased each year based on average wage inflation or deflation in Alberta.
Workers belonging to the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the largest union at city hall, received a 12.5 per cent increase over four years in their last contract agreement.
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Here are some of the highlights of the Alberta 2016-17 budget. Story here: http://huff.to/1Nr7xhN
Revenue is pegged at $41.4 billion against $51.1 billion in spending. Projected revenue is down, as benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil is expected to average US$42 a barrel. If oil prices drop to $30 a barrel, the government plans to add a $700-million buffer.
Province is amalgamating 26 agencies, boards and commissions to save $33 million. Salaries and supplies for government will be cut by 2 per cent.
The only new tax is a carbon tax, that will cost households earning more than $100,00 a year about $500 annually. The new tax is part of the province's new climate change plan.
The province has created two new tax credits to encourage investment in small- and medium-sized businesses. Small-business tax will be cut to two per cent.
The government says its spending on employment incentives and capital will create about 100,000 jobs in Alberta over the next three years.