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Massive tax bills send some Inglewood businesses into an 'emotional nightmare'
When numerous small businesses in Calgary’s trendy Inglewood neighbourhood opened up their 2019 tax assessment, many wished it was a joke.
The reality, many saw an increase between 100 and 300 per cent compared to the year before.
Several businesses owners have spoken out on social media, calling for the city to respond.
Ward 9 councillor Gian-Carlo Carra pledged the emotional nightmare will not become a financial nightmare.
"For people who are looking at their tax bills and aren't able to understand how they are going to make ends meet, there is money coming from the city in the form of cheques that will put that back to normal this year."
Mayor and the majority of council signed a notice of motion to access emergency funding to offer rebates to the affected businesses as soon as possible.
Only Ward 11 councillor Jeromy Farkas declined to sign.
Brian Imeson has owned Circa Vintage Art Glass in Inglewood for 17 years and for the last three, he's seen a massive increase on his tax bill.
""Basically they went from about $13,000 in 2016 to just under $40,000 now for 2019 so that's like almost triple in that period."
He says raising his prices could help cover the cost, but he doesn't want to do that.
"You have to be very cautious of that and it's market driven, so you can't just arbitrarily hike up your prices to off-set increasing costs."
He says the city's one-time bailout is a short-term solution and says the entire tax system needs to be overhauled.
Carra says that's the plan for next year.
"We've been doing one year fixes year over year and because of where our economy is at and where our real estate's at, because of the perversity of the tax system we find ourselves in, the hole is getting deeper and we need to structurally change the entire system."