City of Iqaluit raises property taxes by 3%

Water and sewer bills will also rise with council approval of 2022 rates

City of Iqaluit workers will be replacing valves on Tuesday morning, and the city will shut off its water supply while this work is being completed. (File photo)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Iqaluit residents will pay three per cent more in property taxes, as well as more for water and sewer services, after city council voted Monday to set its rates for 2022.

The city’s residential sanitation fee, which covers sewage, will go up two per cent, to $53.36 from $52.31, while water rates will increase from $0.02 per litre to 0.0201 per litre, or 0.5 per cent, said Coun. Kyle Sheppard, the finance committee chairperson.

The property tax hike affects all classes, which include residential, commercial and government properties. Owners of single family homes will pay an additional $70 to $115 a year.

Sheppard said the increases are due to rising operating costs. Fuel, for example, is more expensive, and the city signed a new contract with its employees in July which includes wage increases for the next two years.

The city also has to cover about $8 million worth of sewage upgrades which are needed to develop more buildings, and $5.5 million worth of water system upgrades.

“Costs keep adding up, and we did everything we could to keep the increases as low as possible this year,” he said.

“From a bottom-line standpoint, compared to how significant the increases could have been, I’m pretty happy with what we were able to arrive at.”

City councillors voted unanimously for each increase, choosing the lowest raise in water and sanitation fees that was presented by city administration and the second-lowest increase in property taxes.

From Oct. 12 to Dec. 10 last year, the city was under an advisory to not consume Iqaluit’s treated water, due to fuel contamination in the municipal water supply.

The contamination issue has returned several times since the advisory was lifted, and the city’s water treatment plant has been offline since Jan. 19.

Sheppard said the water rate increase isn’t strictly due to the water emergency, and council could have increased it more in an effort to recover the approximately $3.5 million spent to get through the crisis.

Instead, the city chose to draw down money in its water and sewage fund to pay for the emergency. It has also sent in applications to recoup that money through the Nunavut government’s municipal assistance program.

As well, the city had plans to locate a new water source beside Lake Geraldine long before the water emergency happened.

“The only path to lower taxes, the only path to lower water rate is to grow our population. And for that to happen we need that investment in the long-term water supply,” Sheppard said.

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(15) Comments:

  1. Posted by Homeowner on

    As a homeowner it’s very tough to make a living here in Iqaluit, very expensive, with our water issues and other things, my garbage hasn’t been picked up in two weeks. Need to do a dump run to get rid of our garbage.
    All the while our rates increase each year. The last 10 years our services have gone down while our rates have skyrocketed.
    Unless you are in subsidized housing being a homeowner has become very expensive and very few that can afford it.

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    • Posted by Renter on

      Interesting to see a comment that subsidized housing rents have not increased in quite a while and yet the homeowner subsidy that is available only to GN employees has remained at the same amount.

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      • Posted by Stalled at the Top on

        The taxable homeowner subsidy for GN employees is garbage compared to what the GN forks over for subsidized housing. The GN won’t even release through an ATIPP how they got to that amount because it was a confidential Cabinet decision. Talk about transparency.
        .
        Yet somehow they have no idea how to increase homeownership other than the absolute debacle that is/was the GN Staff Condominium Program. Are those all sold yet, from like 5 years ago? I’d like to know how much the GN paid in carrying costs while trying to sell those, and I’d like to know what percent were sold to Inuit.

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        • Posted by Former GN ATIPP Insider on

          The initial versions of those rates must be older than 15 years now. Cabinet Confidence expires after 15 years.

      • Posted by Home owner on

        I don’t work for the GN, no special subsidies.

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  2. Posted by Educate me on

    “Sheppard said the increases are due to rising operating costs. Fuel, for example, is more expensive, and the city signed a new contract with its employees in July which includes wage increases for the next two years”

    Are residents of Iqaluit paying for their wage increases as well?

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    • Posted by Up and Down With the Price of Fuel on

      The price of fuel went down for while. Did the city cut taxes then?

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  3. Posted by Really? on

    City of Iqaluit: 5-star prices with 1-star service.

    Will the garbage trucks pick up my trash, loaders clear the snow, or water trucks deliver, 3% more efficiently?

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  4. Posted by Old timer on

    Gas fuel prices when up so you guys have fuel in in the water so price need to go up too.

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  5. Posted by T. Bert Rose on

    I say well done to our City Council and the entire Municipal staff.
    After 38 years as an Iqaluit homeowner I find no fault with our garbage pick up, water quality, road ploughing street lighting and recreation decisions .
    Please keep up the good work!

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    • Posted by John on

      I too am overjoyed with our city and the services they provide. They have worked tirelessly to keep our city great and provide us with the services we need. Well done! Mayor Bell for another term!

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    • Posted by Two Faced on

      Is this the same Bert Rose that only a few weeks ago when Iqaluit was having the contaminated water crisis commented how “He was ashamed to say he was from Nunavut” ? more so Iqaluit. Now he’s giving the City an “A” plus
      Shame on you Bert
      Posted by T. Bert Rose on Jan 20, 2022
      In all my years living above 60N, I have never been as ashamed as I am now.

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      • Posted by MARS on

        I think Bert was being sarcastic.

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    • Posted by Barry on

      “ After 38 years as an Iqaluit homeowner I find no fault with our… water quality”
      I, too, find no fault in having a do-not-consume order for 2 months.
      And it’s always wonderful to hear that officials still don’t know what is causing hydrocarbons to be in the water. /eyeroll

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  6. Posted by Same story differennt year on

    It’s always the same story! Taxes need to increase so we can do this or that or so we can improve this or that. What has been the total increase to property taxes in the last 10 years? I’d like to see proof that any of the tax increases imposed on rate payers has been used according to the reasons presented. Stop using property tax increases to cover the mismanagement and incompetence of the city.

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