City of Iqaluit to raise property taxes by 3% in 2020

“The increase is required to allow the city to work to address the needs of our growing community”

Last week, Iqaluit city councillors passed the city’s 2020 budget, including a three per cent increase to property tax rates. (File photo)

By Dustin Patar

Iqaluit city council approved the city’s 2020 budget during a special council meeting last Friday, on Dec. 13.

According to a City of Iqaluit news release, “the new budget focuses on service delivery for residents and planning for the future. The budget includes new heavy equipment to ensure safe, reliable service delivery. A key focus of the 2020 budget is the city’s water infrastructure; specifically the planning and implementation of the long-term water supply and storage, which is critical to city’s ability to increase development.”

To help pay for this spending, city councillors have approved a three per cent property tax increase.

“The increase is required to allow the city to work to address the needs of our growing community,” said Mayor Kenny Bell.

In addition to the increase in property tax rates, the 2020 budget also includes a one per cent increase to sanitation rates, which will help prepare the city for the operation of its new waste transfer station and landfill, according to the news release.

Also as part of the 2020 budget, councillors endorsed the city’s five-year, $31.3-million strategic capital plan that is funded by federal infrastructure funds, gas tax, Government of Nunavut block funding, city reserves and city funds.

“The city’s funds are in a positive position, which allows us to address the city’s priorities,” said Coun. Kyle Sheppard, the finance committee’s chair.

While the capital spending plan addresses many of the city’s immediate needs, additional funding will be required in the future, said Bell.

“The reality is that the city has an infrastructure gap and its long-term needs must be addressed further through external funding and building partnerships,” he said.

The new budget takes effect on Jan. 1.

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(12) Comments:

  1. Posted by Northern Guy on

    So remind me again how many of the current members of council are actually rate payers? Raising taxes is the easy and lazy way to address a deficit, though council has always been pretty eager to disposes others of their hard earned dollars. More taxes for fewer services.

    • Posted by Northern Man on

      Everyone in the city is a ratepayer. We pay for our city services wither directly or by paying our landlords.
      If you’re talking about how many of the council are homeowners paying property taxes I think it’s just Awa and Brewster who are current homeowners in Iqaluit. Everyone else is in heavily subsidized staff, rental or social housing. That’s probably why they don’t feel the burn.

      • Posted by Northern Guy on

        When it’s not your house and you are paying subsidized rent what is the incentive of thinking like a tax paying homeowner? While I agree that everyone who pays rent is a ratepayer only homeowners and property owners pay taxes.

      • Posted by Iqalummiut on

        Sheppard, Stevenson and Bell all one homes in Iqaluit, I believe.

  2. Posted by bled dry ratepayer on

    STOP raising homeowner taxes!! 20% over the last 6 years, what the heck !! Iqaluit has now raised homeowner taxes THE MOST in ALL of CANADA in the last 5 years!! Work on Increasing your tax base in order to get more revenue, open up more lots, STOP bleeding us ratepayers dry, you are creating more disincentives to owning homes.

  3. Posted by Wish I Was A Transient on

    How is further taxing the small pool of taxable residents an adequate solution? How have we still not created a system that taxes the temporary workers who exploit our services and reap all the benefits? I am so disappointed in this council already…

  4. Posted by Northern Guy on

    When I was at the polls i voted for only those candidates who I knew owned a home in Iqaluit and pay taxes here. Time for all of us to consider supporting candidates that have some skin in the game and don’t just play fast and loose with someone else’s money.

  5. Posted by Tax the GN and employees on

    The federal government and the GN should be taxed. It’s their employees who use our infrastructure – a vehicle per employee practically. Ever hear of car-pooling?
    The taxes were just raised recently and you’re gouging us again!

    • Posted by Putuguk on

      A city cannot tax a higher level of government. However, the GN does provide annual grants to tax based municipalities in lieu of taxes. I think Rankin and Iqaluit are the only places this applies. The value of the grant is based on the mill rate, and a reasonable formula that considers the value of GN assets within the municipality. In Iqaluit you have things like paved roads, a utilidor, several modern recreation facilities, a functioning by-law department and full time fire fighters. You get plenty not available in non-tax based communities for what you pay.

  6. Posted by Not so great decision on

    I hope everyone is happy about their decision on mayor. Where’s the transparency? We have to hear about it in the newspaper cause the mayor is too busy boosting about how great he thinks he’s doing

  7. Posted by Taxes on

    Everyone who owns a home in Iqaluit and everyone who rents a home in Iqaluit pay property tax. Those who own rental property pay property tax top the City, but they pass the tax along to their tenants in the rent. And they usually “earn” a profit on those taxes.

    What is the tax rate for owner-occupied homes and what is the tax rate for rental homes?

    I don’t know about Iqaluit, but I know that in Toronto the tax rate for rental property is 3 times as high as for owner-occupied homes. In Toronto it’s the renters who subsidize the home owners.

    • Posted by Two Cents on

      In places like Toronto, people own the land that their house resides on, whereas in Iqaluit our land is leased. We are being significantly taxed for land that we dont even own and could frankly at the end of our land lease, not be renewed by the city.

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