City may back away from tax increase

The city finances are back in the black. That means that the planned four per cent property tax increase may not be a foregone conclusion.

The city finances are back in the black.

That means that the planned four per cent property tax increase may not be a foregone conclusion.

The city has directed administration to rewrite the three-year budget forecast with a smaller tax increase in mind.

This week administration reported a $14,000 surplus for the third quarter.

That’s a big change from the more than $800,000 budget deficit that the city was facing only a few months ago.

To get the city back in the black council enacted a series of cost-saving austerity measures.

New hires were put on hold, overtime was heavily scrutinized and several infrastructure projects were put off till next year.

That allowed the city to transfer funds from general reserves to come up with the surplus, said finance manager Valerie Anderson.

Those cuts were a one-time only fix, not something that is sustainable in the long term, said Anderson.

When she presented the numbers to council on Monday Coun. Dave Stockdale floated the idea of using some of the reserve money to off set the planned tax increase.

“I think we could put this money to better use than sinking it into reserves,” said Stockdale.

That idea had some support on council.

“If we can find any way to reduce taxes you have my nod on that,” said Kirk Cameron.

However administration was less enthused by the suggestion.

“It’s an option but not something I would recommend,” said Anderson “It’s not sustainable and it would end up depleting the reserves.”

She also pointed out that if council chose not to replenish the reserves it would take a bylaw change.

The 2012 capital budget scheduled for a first reading at Monday’s city council meeting.

Contact Josh Kerr at joshk@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

World Cup season just around the corner for Yukon skiers

“I know I still really love to ski race and I feel like I haven’t reached my potential”

Whitehorse’s Nadia Moser named to biathlon World Cup team

“It’s pretty exciting to actually make the World Cup”

Ross River Dena Council appeal set to be heard

Appeal judges are looking at a 2017 Yukon Supreme Court decision on Canada’s duty to negotiate

Yukon NDP questions the cost of the health department’s medical review

$1.5 million appears to be going towards a steering committee and a “Tiger Team”

Yukon government helps fund 10 new affordable housing projects

The projects, supported by the housing initiatives fund, will build 123 new affordable units

EDITORIAL: Attention Whitehorse: shovel your sidewalks

For those who haven’t looked out a window this week, the snow… Continue reading

Youth boxers take home silver and gold medals

Alberta Sub-Novice Tournament, an introduction to competitive boxing, happened last weekend

Respite home offers a break to caregivers

Hillcrest home is a pilot project

Yukoners make a splash to mark the beginning of the swimming season

Nearly 120 swimmers took part in the Ryan Downing Memorial Swim Meet

Commentary: Lack of affordable housing in the Yukon is not about funds, but how we spend them

Why are we not building apartment complexes to serve the lower and lower-middle income bracket?

Driving with Jens: When should you plug your vehicle in?

You can probably still start your car without plugging it in at -25 C or colder, but you shouldn’t.

Yukonomist: Too far up the supply curve

Some copper mines come in and out of production as global demand for the metal surges and ebbs.

Most Read