For the first time in 10 years, Whistlerites will not see an increase in their property taxes in 2012.
Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden made the announcement during Tuesday’s (Feb. 21) council meeting as part of the Council Action Plan (CAP), which details key goals of council and timelines for their achievement.
The zero tax increase promised for this year comes after a decade of rising rates, which amounts to an overall 34 per cent increase in property taxes since 2002.
The CAP is broken up into five key categories, which include fiscal responsibility, increased accountability and engagement, client-focused service delivery, an “open for business” focus and progressive resort community planning. Within those categories, line items are broken up in timeframes, with certain goals being designated as deliverable within six months, 18 months and 36 months. It also reveals which departments within the RMOW will be responsible for each task.
Other interesting goals set out in the CAP include revising pay parking in the Day Lots and exploring the possibility introducing free WiFi in the community within six months, adopting the new Official Community Plan within 18 months and resolving the asphalt issue once and for all within 36 months.
“We recognize the work done by previous staff and councils, and when we were sworn in I referred to the fact that this was a very politically significant election,” said Wilhelm-Morden. “We were elected with some very significant mandates. Fifty-four per cent of the eligible voting population came out and voted and… I’m confident that we related what those voices were in this action plan.”
When asked about how council is able to commit to keeping property taxes stable this year, Wilhelm-Morden said that following a few meetings regarding the 2012 municipal budget, she is as certain as could be that council will not have to increase property taxes.
“We had to do our due diligence before we announced, and we’re confident that we can do the zero on zero,” she said.