hi-dan-curtis-mayor-whitehorse

Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis says the tax hikes are the lowest the city has seen in 10 years.

The mayor of Whitehorse says city officials did their best to hold down spending in the city budget that was tabled last night, but the 2014 budget contains a range of tax and fee increases.

The $68.5 million operations budget is about $3 million more than last year's.

Mayor Dan Curtis says it includes tax increases and fee increases for services like the Canada Games Centre, garbage pick-up and water and sewer increases.

Budget highlights

Total budget: $68,517,868

Average tax increase: 1.7%

Average annual increase per home: $41

Average annual increase per business: $224

Average annual property tax per home: $2,227

Recreation fees hike: 2%

Garbage pickup per cart: from $9/month to $10.30/month

Water and sewer charges up: 4.69%

“We will hold taxes to a modest 1.7 per cent increase in 2014, the lowest we've seen in 10 years,” Curtis says.

“The average homeowner will pay $41 more in taxes. That's about 80 cents a week. The average business will pay an extra $224 in taxes, or about $4.30 per week.”

Curtis says the city held down spending by putting off filling job vacancies and putting limits on services like snow clearing.

“Snowclearing this winter is a good example of this balancing act,” Curtis says. “Many people would like to see the streets cleared faster, but this would increase costs and taxes.”

Curtis says rising costs for the city is forcing it to raise fees.

The fee for using recreational facilities, like the Canada Games Centre, will go up two per cent.

There are also increases for garbage pick-up and water and sewer.

The budget still has to be passed by the council before it's official.

The operations budget is in addition to the almost $13 million capital budget adopted by council.