Calgary city councillors are beginning to review a list of sub-services in an effort to cut costs and reduce the tax burden on small businesses. 

Council is looking to find $60 million in savings that are needed to cover a $130.9-million business tax break that was approved unanimously by council last month. 

The next step is to conduct a line-by-line review of sub-services to find those savings. 

There is currently an initial list of 245 sub-services for council to review.

Administration has recommended six high-priority areas to review by the end of the year. 

That list includes:

  • Golf programs and activities 
  • Bus and CTrain operations 
  • Citizen engagement
  • Community-wise waste management 
  • Sailing programs and activities 
  • Boulevards and naturalization (streets)

The initial work plan was discussed and debated at Tuesday’s strategic meeting of council. 

The work plan and sub-service review will first determine whether the city should provide a certain service and then look at the potential impacts of cutting that service. 

Ironically, each sub-service review to find possible savings will come with a cost of about $50,000 to $100,000 in city staff labour.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says council will have to determine whether this formalized review process will be worth finding what could potentially just be minimal cost savings. 

The goal for council on Tuesday is to decide which sub-service reviews will be completed prior to the November budget.

Council’s next move will then be to confirm the direction it wants to take for further budget reductions in 2020.