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Yellowknife’s 2017 budget comes with a 1.23 per cent tax increase

Yellowknife councillors adopted the 2017 budget Monday night, and it comes with a 1.23 per cent tax increase.

Council has spent the past week going over this year’s budget line-by-line. In the end, a number of high-profile cuts were made and a number of key initiatives were added.

SEE: What did and didn’t make the 2017 budget

The most notable cut was a $1.9 million project aimed at revitalizing the city’s downtown lot at 50 Street and 50 Avenue. During deliberations, council decided the city wasn’t quite ready to move forward with the project.

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Council also voted to reduce the budget by:

  • $75,000 by removing a strategic review
  • $230,000 by removing the re-siding for the pool’s exterior walls
  • $110,000 by removing solar panels from Community Energy Plan projects
  • $27,300 for updates to the city’s website and applications

A number of items were also added to the budget, including $222,000 to hire four new firefighters by next July. Councillors also voted to set aside $160,000 for the installation of a climbing wall at the Yellowknife Fieldhouse.

A number of expenses associated with combatting social issues also made the final cut, including $100,000 for a new street outreach services program and $50,000 for a homeless employment program pilot project.

Some other items added to the budget include:

  • $300,000 to hire community safety officers, dependent on legislative changes and receipt of matching funding from the GNWT
  • $50,000 annually to increase grant funding
  • $75,000 to conduct a new downtown multi-purpose building study
  • $265,000 for improvements to the School Draw parking lot

The city’s original draft budget proposed a tax increase of 2.55 per cent.

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The 2017 budget approved Monday includes revenues of $81,506,000 and expenditures of $80,634,000 including $31,627,000 in capital investments.

Last year’s draft budget called for a tax increase of 2.87 per cent before council whittled that down to zero.

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