Audit of city budget reveals $147M surplus

Calgary’s budget has been audited, and it turns out the city is now awash in a sea of black ink.

Now councillors must decide what to do with a $147 million surplus.

Monday, Mayor Jyoti Gondek rejected the suggestion that the surplus meant Calgarians have been overtaxed, saying that was a misreading of the city’s financial levers.

She said there were always variations in revenue because of constantly fluctuating assessed home values.

The mayor asked her fellow councillors to keep essential services in mind, for the next budget talks in November.

“The surplus that we have achieved by way of investment income over the last term that I served on council allowed us to keep things like police, fire and transit whole,” Gondek said. “I can remember three years running. We took money from that investment income and dedicated it to ensuring that those budgets wouldn’t be cut.”

Until councillors decide what to do with it, the surplus cash will remain in the city’s reserve fund.

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