Whitehorse mayor says proposed tax increase lowest in more than a decade

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The City of Whitehorse is planning to spend more than $88 million in its operations and maintenance budget this year.

That's about $3 million higher than last year's budget.

Mayor Dan Curtis said there's a slight increase proposed for residential property taxes.

"I am pleased to announce that the proposed property tax increase for 2021 is 0.34 per cent on the average home. That is the lowest increase in well over a decade," Curtis said.

He said the average homeowner will pay $9 more in taxes this year.

Curtis said there is no increase in water and sewer fees.

The budget documents say residential garbage pick-up is going up from $12.60 to $12.95 per month.

There will also be a standard two per cent increase on recreation fees for using the arenas and the pool.

Mayor Curtis said extra staff are being hired to increase services in several areas.

A position has been created to increase energy efficiency in city operations. A new bylaw officer will help do more in-depth investigations and new staff have been added to help put more land on the market for development.

Public input is now open on the budget. The council will receive a report on the public's feedback at its Feb. 1 meeting with final approval of the budget expected on Feb. 8.

A capital budget for 2021 of about $31 million has already been approved. It's likely to go up over the year as the federal and territorial governments approve funding for various city projects.