Letter to Whitehorse mayor and city council:
The City of Whitehorse is reportedly talking about a tax surplus while at the same time muttering about eliminating MacBride museum’s historic tax abatement.
Given the year-round effort that MacBride museum puts into both collecting and protecting Whitehorse’s history, creating programs and events for the edification and entertainment of citizens both old and young, plus thousands visitors, to eliminate this tax abatement is a huge slap in the face.
The abatement in question represents a very small reduction in the amount of taxes collected, ultimately equal to pennies when apportioned to the total number of citizens served by a very dedicated and energetic museum staff and volunteers. Yet, to the museum the tax abatement is significant when considered as a percentage of the museum’s operating budget and may ultimately mean reductions in service.
May I remind you that the museum provides historical programs for visitors in the summer months, educational camps and programs for children in summer, plus interesting adult winter time lectures and talks. The recent presentation on the Canol project that not only filled the auditorium but spilled out into the hallways is a prime example. The excellent special exhibits downstairs in the museum are of interest to one and all and changed frequently.
A museum such as our MacBride should be cherished and supported by the City of Whitehorse for the important contribution it makes to the community. MacBride was started on a shoestring over 50 years ago by just a few residents with vision and a passion for local history. Every year there are improvements and additions to the exhibits there.
Our museum deserves full support from the city government for the enormous contribution it makes to the community. Shame on you for ever thinking otherwise.