Iqaluit's city budget has been sent back for more work after council rejected a proposed increase to the mill rate of $3.
“The majority of council thought that the $3 rate raise for the mill rate was a little bit much,” says Councillor Kenny Bell.
In a meeting Tuesday night, council made several cuts to the proposed budget, and sent it back to city staff, in an effort to cut the mill rate rise to just $1.
The mill rate is the basis of property tax paid by homeowners.
Right now, homeowners in the city pay just over $26 for every $1,000 their home is assessed at. The draft 2014 budget would have raised that to $29.
In their last-minute budget cuts to try to keep the mill rate at $27, city councillors chopped three reserve funds by 10 per cent, saving $200,000.
They also dropped $192,000 for a fence around the city garage, and $10,000 for a model home that teaches fire safety.
Garbage, water fees to rise
The proposed budget also includes other price hikes.
The cost of water could go up 6 per cent, and trash pick-up 10 per cent.
For a family of four, that means about $50 more a year for water, and about $40 per year for garbage collection.
Councillor Bell says the proposed increases are for future solid waste management plans and infrastructure.
“We have to raise it anyways because it hasn't been raised in a number of years,” he says.
“Plus we are going to have a new solid waste plan regardless of the situation.”
The review of the proposed budget will continue next Wednesday, Jan. 22.