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Council passes interim budget

Industrial, commercial and undeveloped tax rates all set to increase

Malcolm Gorrill
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Dec 07/01) - The Town of Inuvik is not planning any general tax increase for 2002, though mill rate increases are expected.

Last week council passed the town's interim budget for 2002. A public meeting is to be held before council approves the final budget in February. That meeting is scheduled for Jan. 22.

NNSL photo

Coun. Denny Rodgers looks over the Town of Inuvik's interim 2002 budget. Council approved the interim budget last week, though a public meeting is to be held before the final budget is passed in February. - Malcolm Gorrill/NNSL photo

The balanced budget is projected to increase to $4.96 million next year -- up from $4.41 million this year.

Coun. Denny Rodgers, chair of the administration committee, explained that when officials were drawing up the interim budget, they made certain assumptions regarding increases.

A one per cent general tax increase was anticipated, though Rodgers said that now it's felt no increase will be needed.

Also projected are a two-mill increase for industrial and commercial land, which Rodgers said will probably end up being a one-mill increase, as well as a 10-mill increase on undeveloped land.

One mill equals one-tenth of one cent. A mill rate of 52 mills, for example, would be $0.052 tax for each dollar of assessed valuation of a property.

Rodgers said the increase on the last item will probably end up being around five mills, and that this measure will bring Inuvik in line with other municipalities.

"It's standard that all municipalities have a higher mill rate for undeveloped land," Rodgers said.

"It does encourage development. What's considered developed and undeveloped will be determined by the MACA assessment."

The mill rate is set by MACA. Municipalities multiply the rate by the value of a property to determine the amount of taxes owed on that property. Each classification of land has its own mill rate.

The mill rate increases, if approved, would not take effect until the final draft is passed in February, which is when mill rates are set. Any increases would not be seen until the tax bills sent out in June.

"There's a lot of capital work again," Rodgers said, referring to the $1.09 million allocated to capital projects.

Rodgers pointed out that all the block funding from the territorial government goes into capital projects, and that for the last couple of budgets the town has not had to spend any block funding on operation and maintenance.

"We've built up our tax base well enough now we can use our block funding totally for capital, which is what we want," he said.

Amongst the capital projects, $400,000 goes towards paving and gravel, and $350,000 is for fire hall foundation repair.

As well, $125,000 is allocated for finishing the floor and installing bathrooms in a currently unfinished space in the second floor of the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex.

Recently both the Inuvik Child Development Centre, and members of the fitness centre at the Aurora College gym, have expressed interest in moving into that space.

As well, $35,000 of the capital projects funds will be used for building a walking bridge over Boot Lake.

Rodgers explained this fits in with an increased emphasis for economic development and tourism.

Budget 2001 Int Budget 2002
Administrative $2,895,000 $3,137,000
Protective Services $60,000 $26,000
Public Works $40,000 $40,000
Environmental $100,000 $190,000
Econ Dev't/Tourism $140,000 $254,000
Leisure Services $165,000 $162,000
Library $40,000 $55,000
Total revenue $3,440,000 $3,864,000
Legislative $153,300 $176,000
Administrative $836,700 $862,000
Protective Services $330,000 $367,000
Public Works $1,075,000 $1,158,000
Environmental $400,000 $430,000
Econ Dev't/Tourism $140,000 $254,000
Leisure Services 265,000 $271,000
Library $240,000 $276,000
Total expenses $3,440,000 $3,864,000
Block funding $978,800 $1,096,000
Capital projects $978,800 $1,096,000
Total budget $4,418,800 $4,960,000