Iqaluit residents can expect property taxes to rise by one per cent and garbage collection fees to increase by three percent when the city’s Budget 2021 takes effect on Jan. 1.
City council finalized the budget during a meeting on Tuesday.
Although water rates will not change, water and sewer callouts to will cost $450 for commercial customers and $350 for residential customers, up from $250 previously.
The hike in property taxes will help offset expenditures for basic services, such as roads, emergency services, municipal enforcement, corporate services, administration and recreation. It will also help pay for the future acquisition of fire trucks, heavy equipment and new buildings.
The higher charge for garbage collection is intended to address a shortfall in the sanitation fund and help cover the cost of a new landfill and new waste transfer facility.
City council has identified an infrastructure deficit as one of the municipality’s greatest challenges. Water remains the top priority as a long-term water supply and upgrades to sewage capacity are essential for the city to meet housing demand and support additional development.
As well, the storage, workshop and inventory building needs to be replaced, along with space for operations staff. Various city facilities require renovations to meet health and safety standards. Mayor and council will also be planning for a new fire hall and dog pound.
Also on the agenda for 2021 are repairs to the Apex Bridge, the purchase of an excavator, increased bylaw staffing, a new city website and a pumping program to supplement the Lake Geraldine Reservoir.
A new general plan and zoning bylaw are also anticipated next year.
“The 2021 budget will help the city (in) strengthening its internal systems to be able to provide high-quality services for residents and improve staff workspaces to ensure our workforce can work in a healthy environment with the tools they need,” said Coun. Kyle Sheppard, chair of the Finance Committee of Whole.