City unveils 2015 operating budget

Your typical Whitehorse homeowner will pay another $29 in property taxes next year, provided that the city passes its 2015 operating budget.

Your typical Whitehorse homeowner will pay another $29 in property taxes next year, provided that the city passes its 2015 operating budget.

An average household would pay $2,265 in taxes under the proposed budget, which received first reading at Monday’s council meeting.

The average Whitehorse business, meanwhile, would pay an extra $561 in taxes next year, for a total of $14,580. For both households and businesses, it’s a 1.7 per cent increase.

The city’s 2015 operating budget has grown to $69 million. That’s up $1 million from one year ago.

Water and sewer fees would increase by 6.3 per cent. That means monthly rates would rise from $69 to $73. Last year, those rates rose by 4.7 per cent.

Property taxes are partly being pushed upward by rising electrical costs, which have increased by more than $300,000 this year, said Mayor Dan Curtis.

The city has undergone “belt-tightening” efforts to keep operating costs as low as possible, Curtis said during his budget speech.

About half of the operating budget is funded through taxes, which help pay for everything from roads to recreation facilities to transit.

Curtis said Whitehorse residents pay less tax than those in many other comparable cities. “And our modest tax increase will keep it that way,” he said.

Next year, $12.2 million will be transferred into the city’s reserve funds, compared to the $13.4 million that was earmarked in this year’s budget.

Landfill tipping fees will increase from $87 to $94 per tonne next year, but there is no scheduled increase to curbside waste and organic collection costs.

However, the city also has plans to introduce curbside recycling collection sometime next year. It’s estimated that households would pay $15 a month for this weekly service.

At the same meeting, council unanimously passed second and third reading of its 2015-2018 capital budget.

That budget includes the city’s biggest infrastructure project ever, a $56-million plan over three years to build two new headquarters for its staff.

The city contends that once the buildings are constructed, it’ll save approximately $500,000 per year in energy and leasing costs, which will alleviate pressure on the operating budget.

A citizen survey conducted in June concluded that 74 per cent of respondents “felt they receive fair value for their tax dollars.”

The city is now asking for residents to give their input on the proposed operating budget.

A public input night is scheduled at city hall on Jan. 12, and a report on that input will be presented to council the following week.

Second and third reading of the operating budget will be held on Jan. 26.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In a Feb. 17 statement, the City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology used for emergency response. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Three words could make all the difference in an emergency

City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology

Jesse Whelen, Blood Ties Four Directions harm reduction councillor, demonstrates how the organization tests for fentanyl in drugs in Whitehorse on May 12, 2020. The Yukon Coroner’s Service has confirmed three drug overdose deaths and one probable overdose death since mid-January. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three overdose deaths caused by “varying levels of cocaine and fentanyl,” coroner says

Heather Jones says overdoses continue to take lives at an “alarming rate”

Wyatt's World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Approximately 30 Yukoners protest for justice outside the Whitehorse courthouse on Feb. 22, while a preliminary assault hearing takes place inside. The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, based in Watson Lake, put out a call to action over the weekend. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Courthouse rally denounces violence against Indigenous women

The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society put out a call to action

The now empty lot at 410 Cook Street in Whitehorse on January 19. As developers move forward with plans for a housing development that would feature 16 micro-units, they are asking city council for a zoning change that would reduce the number of required parking spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Parking problems predicted

Zoning amendment would create more on-street parking issues, residents say

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18.	(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities

US Consul General Brent Hardt during a wreath-laying ceremony at Peace Arch State Park in September 2020. Hardt said the two federal governments have been working closely on the issue of appropriate border measures during the pandemic. (John Kageorge photo)
New U.S. consul general says countries working closely on COVID-19 border

“I mean, the goal, obviously, is for both countries to get ahead of this pandemic.”

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Start of spring sitting announced

The Yukon legislature is set to resume for the spring sitting on… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

History Hunter: Kwanlin Dün — a book of history, hardship and hope

Dǎ Kwǎndur Ghày Ghàkwadîndur: Our Story in Our Words is published by… Continue reading

Most Read