Council cautious on taxes 

Conscious of the downturn in the economy and general uncertainty since Sept. 11, Whistler council has adopted an annual adjustment formula of zero per cent for 2002 and has decided to delay setting a property tax rate until next month.

"September 11 left most people wondering about the future," Councillor Dave Kirk said. "Two months down the road we feel better, but it’s been a short two months."

Kirk said he believed all businesses in Whistler experienced some downturn in revenue, some more than others, but he believed 15-20 per cent was a fair estimate.

"We’ve had two positive weekends since, U.S. Thanksgiving and Remembrance Day, but I’m not convinced we’ve gone far enough down that road. I feel we should continue to take a very cautious approach to tax levels this year."

The current policy guiding the annual tax rate provides for an increase up to the rate of inflation, plus a one per cent levy for capital.

The annual adjustment formula – which establishes any changes in departmental operating budgets – adopted by the municipality for 2000 was 3.65 per cent. Holding the AAF to zero will present "quite a challenge for staff," Lisa Landry, manager of fiscal planning, told council.

Other fees and charges may be increased up to 1.8 per cent – the level of inflation – at the general manager’s discretion.

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