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Edgewood weighing utility tax

Post by Melissa Santos / The Olympian on Dec. 7, 2009 at 12:39 pm with No Comments »
December 7, 2009 3:37 pm

Edgewood officials want the public’s opinion on whether the city should impose a utility tax to close a $450,000 budget gap.

Members of the Edgewood City Council will meet Tuesday to decide whether to enact a utility tax of 3.5 percent, which would generate close to $500,000 per year in additional revenue, said Mike Caldwell, Edgewood’s interim city manager.

The tax would amount to about $14 more per month for Edgewood residents who now pay $400 monthly for combined utility services, according to a newsletter city officials sent residents last week.

City officials want citizens to attend Tuesday’s meeting and share their thoughts, Edgewood Mayor Jeff Hogan said in last week’s mailing.

Edgewood residents rejected a 5 percent utility tax when the issue came to a public vote in 2005.

Though the city’s proposed budget for next year would cut six staff positions as part of $577,610 in reductions, a $450,000 shortfall will still remain, Caldwell said.

“We need to pass a budget and we need to pass this tax ordinance if we are going to prevent another year of deficit spending,” Caldwell said Monday. The city in 2009 ran a deficit of nearly $800,000, he said.

Tuesday’s meeting to decide on the utility tax will begin at 7 p.m. at Edgewood City Hall, located at 2224 104th Avenue East.

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