Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Tax changes sought for Whitehorse energy projects

Delegates call for separate property tax category for renewable energy projects

Three corporations are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects.

In submissions presented to council at its Jan. 18 meeting, Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation called for a meeting with council and city staff to explore the possibilities.

“There’s lots of opportunities,” Yukon Energy CEO and president Andrew Hall said in a Jan. 19 interview.

While Yukon Energy would ultimately want to see a lower tax rate on renewable projects, Hall said at this point the Crown corporation and two other companies involved in renewable energy are simply requesting a meeting to look at that possibility or potential incentives that would also help the city meet sustainability and climate change mitigation goals.

With property categories for taxes limited to residential, non-residential and agriculture, it was suggested in the three written submissions that the city should look at a new category for renewable energy projects on land without other development.

The creation of such a tax category “would be a significant step,” Solvest vice-president Ben Power stated in his request to the city.

The letters all pointed to city policies and statements regarding climate change mitigation, with Chu Níikwän Development Corporation CEO Chris Milner arguing that the city has a “blank slate” to work with on the matter.

Hall described the current tax rates as “pretty punitive”, noting it’s expected the property tax bill for its battery storage project will be substantially more in the city than it would have been outside of city limits.

Yukon Energy announced late in 2020 it had eliminated one of the three sites it was considering for the project that will see container units of lithium-ion batteries used to store electricity generated during off-peak periods to then be used when there is higher demand.

The site outside of city limits on the North Klondike Highway was eliminated after significant public comments were made expressing opposition. Many argued the residential area wasn’t suitable for the project, highlighting fear of fire risks and the potential for noise and light from the site.

The other two sites being considered for the project are in the city with one across the road from Yukon Energy’s LNG facility on Robert Service Way and the other at Robert Service Way and the Alaska Highway.

Coun. Steve Roddick commented later in the council meeting the requests have raised a number of questions for him and he would like to see more information.

“I’m looking forward to these conversations,” he said.

Meanwhile, in an interview following the council meeting Mayor Dan Curtis said he has reservations about creating a number of different tax categories.

While he said he supports renewable energy projects, he also noted that it’s important the city collects property taxes to pay for the services the city delivers every day.

“We all want renewable energy,” he said, pointing to the solar energy the city’s operations’ building has in place as well as having the building ready for biomass heating in the future.

Despite his reservations on the issue, he didn’t rule out looking at the matter noting he would like to see more information about it.

City manager Linda Rapp indicated staff would be reaching out to the officials about a meeting.

In the meantime, Hall said Yukon Energy would wait for the city’s response to its request.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

Whitehorse city councilYukon Energy

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

Just Posted

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Calvin Delwisch poses for a photo inside his DIY sauna at Marsh Lake on Feb. 18.
Yukoners turning up the heat with unique DIY sauna builds

Do-it-yourselfers say a sauna built with salvaged materials is a great winter project

Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

The Yukon government responded to a petition calling the SCAN Act “draconian” on Feb. 19. (Yukon News file)
Yukon government accuses SCAN petitioner of mischaracterizing her eviction

A response to the Jan. 7 petition was filed to court on Feb. 19

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports rising rents for Yukoners, falling revenues for businesses

The bureau has published several reports on the rental market and businesses affected by COVID-19

Council of Yukon First Nations grand chief Peter Johnston at the Yukon Forum in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. Johnston and Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn announced changes to the implementation of the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Third phase added to procurement policy implementation

Additional time added to prep for two provisions

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

Most Read