Whitehorse asks for another 1.7 per cent tax hike in 2016 budget

Whitehorse's proposed tax increase will cost homeowners an extra $39 on average per year and businesses about $250 on average.

Curtis says Whistle Bend subdivision development is one of the biggest drivers of the increased budget

Several councillors were dressed in costumes at city council on Monday, to mark at this week's annual Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous. (Mike Rudyk/CBC)

Whitehorse homeowners can expect to pay an extra $39 on average per year for city taxes in 2016, while businesses will have to fork out an extra $250 on average, according to Mayor Dan Curtis. 

The City of Whitehorse presented its proposed 2016 operational budget at city council last night. 

The $70.6 million figure means property taxes are expected to increase 1.7 per cent, the same as last year. Curtis said that's incredibly low, considering the city's geographical distribution. 

Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis did the first reading of the 2016-18 operating budget at city council last night. (Mike Rudyk/CBC)

"Whitehorse is one of the largest cities, spread out, in Canada," he said. "We have 700 kilometres of roads to plow, 700 kilometres of trails to take care of."

The public are invited to share their feedback on the budget at city council on Mar. 14.

"It's [the budget] certainly not cast in stone," said Curtis. 

Last year's budget came in at just under $68.5 million. 

Water and sewage rate to rise 4 per cent

About half of the city's budget is covered by its tax base, while the other roughly $35 million will be recovered through service fees and grants. 

The proposed 2016-18 operating budget is available on the City of Whitehorse website. Members of the public are welcome to share their feedback at city council on Mar. 14. (City of Whitehorse)

Accordingly, residents can expect their sewage and water bills to increase by about $3 per month. The fees for transit and recreation facilities, which are heavily subsidized by taxes, will also increase slightly. 

Curtis said one of the biggest drivers of the increase in the budget is development at Whistle Bend. He said lots are selling rapidly, but not enough people have moved in yet to contribute to the tax base. 

The city is forecasting another 1.7 per cent increase in taxes next year and a 2.3 per cent increase in 2018. 


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