Whitehorse residents will pay more for their property taxes, garbage pickup and parks and recreation fees in the city's new operating budget presented Monday night at city hall.

Mayor Dan Curtis made a speech before presenting the budget, saying it wouldn't be fair to hike taxes by nearly four per cent without giving taxpayers an explanation.

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Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis says inflation and contract settlements with city workers are why the average Whitehorse homeowner will see his or her taxes go up by $65 this year. (CBC)

Curtis said inflation and contract settlements with city workers are why the average Whitehorse homeowner will see his or her taxes go up by $65 this year.

The city says the increases will help pay to put transit buses on their routes until 10 p.m., pay for an extra building inspector and give volunteer firefighters a raise.

The city's finance department is projecting the same kind of hikes again in the next two years.

Curtis said the city has trimmed $600,000 from its spending.

City manager Stan Westby said the cuts include increasing the number of days the Canada Games Centre is closed due to holidays from two to six, eliminating certain positions and reducing administrative costs and scaling back snow removal services at the new Whistlebend subdivision.

The city will hold an open house next month for residents to comment on the proposed operating budget before the tax hikes go to a final vote.