City revisits decision to tax MacBride museum

The issue of whether or not the City of Whitehorse should collect taxes from the MacBride museum resurfaced yet again at Monday’s committee meeting. Councillor Jocelyn Curteanu brought forward a motion to bring the city’s grant policy back to the table at next week’s meeting.

The issue of whether or not the City of Whitehorse should collect taxes from the MacBride museum resurfaced yet again at Monday’s committee meeting.

Councillor Jocelyn Curteanu brought forward a motion to bring the city’s grant policy back to the table at next week’s meeting, stating that an amendment is needed to exclude all museums with title to their land from paying taxes.

MacBride is the only museum in Whitehorse that owns its land, while the rest are on Yukon government land.

Under the current policy, which came into effect on Jan. 1, MacBride would eventually pay approximately $4,700 in property taxes annually, a fee that had been waived by the city for the past 60 years.

Curteanu’s motion is broader in scope than what Mayor Dan Curtis proposed at last week’s meeting, which was to exclude MacBride specifically from the grant policy.

His amendment was defeated in a 3-3 vote, and Curteanu was among the councillors who voted against it.

“I just wasn’t comfortable voting for the one-off exception for the MacBride museum because I believe the purpose of our policies is to apply consistency, transparency, predictability and fairness in our processes,” she said in an e-mail.

She said she considered proposing a separate tax class for museums, but was later told by city administration that this would require legislative changes that could have negative impacts on the city.

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