The Whitehorse city council passed the 2014 operating budget on Monday night.

The $68.5 million budget passed unanimously at the council meeting.

City officials said they tried their best to keep taxes low. They managed to increase taxes by 1.7 per cent which is the smallest hike in 10 years.

“That we got it down to 1.7 per cent, which is the equivalent of inflation or the increased costs of goods for our public means that we’re not losing ground, and I think that it’s a great job that we’ve managed to get it to that level,” said Councillor John Streiker. “So, I think this is a very good budget.”

Officials also said they saved money by leaving a few city jobs vacant, like two firefighter positions, and making adjustments to municipal services such as cutting public works costs in vacant areas of the Whistle Bend subdivision.

Councillor Betty Irwin said it’s getting harder to make cuts and that cities are forced to rely too heavily on property taxes.

"Cities are asked to do more and more, responsibilities and needs are increasing more than their ability to pay." 

with files from CBC's David Thurton