budget 218 

Whistler homeowners may experience a slight drop in taxes this year, the result of continued development in Whistler and lower school taxes. Council gave first three readings to the 1995 municipal budget, tax and user rate bylaws this week. Because of revenues collected from the accelerated rate of development council earlier this year decided to forego the usual tax increase to keep pace with inflation. Provincial legislation, which reclassified strata-titled hotels from residential to the higher commercial rate, has also contributed an unexpected tax windfall for the municipality. Fourteen Whistler hotels were originally reclassified, however that number has now dropped to 10 on appeal. That has reduced the tax windfall by more than $100,000, but the municipality isn't spending any of that money pending appeals and a possible legal challenge by owners of the strata hotel units. * * * The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District has decided it will pay on a per capita basis if it is required to contribute to a research and co-ordination budget set up by local government treaty advisory committee. The advisory committee had requested the SLRD contribute 25 per cent of the $165,000 research and co-ordination budget. The treaty advisory committee includes representatives of the SLRD, Greater Vancouver Regional District, Central Fraser Valley Regional District, Dewdney-Allouette Regional District and Fraser-Cheam Regional District. By contributing on a per capita basis the SLRD would pay about $18,000. Whistler would contribute about $10,000 of that money. The treaty advisory committee is still seeking funds from the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs. * * * New provincial legislation gives the mayor and council more powers to declare an emergency and put emergency plans into action.

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