Council passes City budget with last minute changes

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The 2019 Yellowknife budget is officially set. Monday night, city council unanimously passed a $75.5 million budget with a 1.44 per cent property tax increase.

The budget was passed after a series of last-minute amendments were passed that cut expenses and transferred more money into capital reserves.

Councillor Niels Konge introduced eight last-minute amendments that saw the budget get reduced to the point of a 0 per cent tax increase. All eight of Konge’s proposals were approved.

Konge then proposed a property tax increase of 1.44 per cent, which would equal about $447,000 in tax revenue to go entirely into capital reserves. Konge mentions he’s aware that he will get flack for coming forward with this proposal but that he thinks people know that when big items are coming, you tend to save to get there.

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The reason to place more money into the capital reserves is that there are still decisions to be made on a new aquatic pool, a new water intake line as well as all other projects that the city may decide to move forward with.

Sheila Bassi-Kellett, Senior Administrative Officer said that having a capital fund that is preparing the city for future projects that are anticipated to be coming in 2020 and beyond is a very important thing to do.

“It was a positive move for city staff to see investments in the capital fund to prepare for coming expenses, especially since there was no money put into that fund last year.”

This proposal was unanimously approved by the council.

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