Inuvik homeowners should expect to pay an additional four per cent in property tax in 2020 under the interim operating and capital and budgets, which was passed Dec. 11 by unanimous vote but just posted on the town’s website Jan. 16.
Properties assessed at $140,000 will pay an additional $91 in property taxes. However, an interim tax bylaw passed unanimously at council’s Jan. 13 meeting will allow homeowners to pay half their taxes owing up front and pay the remainder later in the year.
“Revenues continue to be a challenge with overall revenues increasing $140,000,” reads the unattributed budget, which notes the majority of the town’s money comes from the territorial government. “The Town struggles as with other municipalities with the shortfall in funding under the GNWT funding policies. We are hopeful that with a new government in place these shortfall gaps will be eliminated or greatly reduced.”
Also increasing are water and sewer rates, which the report notes have not been changed in four years. The monthly minimum charge will increase by a dollar from $64 to $65 for residents and from $120 to $121 for commercial entities.
On top of this, the town is also increasing the solid waste levy by a dollar; with the report pointing out the town has been absorbing increasing costs for the last eight years. Residential pick up is now $13 and commercial pickup is now $111. In spite of the increase, the town is still running at a deficit of $50,080.
However, the deficit is largely due to a transfer to the capital fund. Without that, the town’s revenues are $2,223,241 in the black.
Capital projects being planned for the year include $1,412,780 in planned upgrades to Chief Jim Koe Park and a $230,000 replacement of the windows and doors in both the town hall and fire department to reduce both operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions by the 1970s-built structure. The town’s biggest capital expenditure remains upkeep and replacement of the Utilidor system, which the town has $3 million a year earmarked until at least 2025.
Road repairs are expected to cost $200,000 this year and sidewalks an addition $600,000. A second water tank for the town’s public works will cost $300,000 to start up.
Deputy mayor Steve Baryluk praised the town’s administration for the budget.
“Administration and staff did a very good job putting together the budget,” he said. “So thank you to them, they make our jobs very easy.”
The report stresses the interim numbers may change when final funding commitments from the territorial government are known later in the year. The budget can be read in its entirety at https://www.inuvik.ca/en/town-hall/Budget-and-Finance.asp