The University Place City Council has dropped a proposed $20 vehicle fee.
Last week’s rejection by voters of two initiatives to privatize liquor sales provides the city with additional money without having to turn to the so-called transportation benefit district.
The City Council moved unanimously Monday night to remove the fee from consideration, a week after it had decided to move forward with the proposal. The action canceled a public hearing scheduled for Monday on the proposal.
“We just felt that getting that amount of revenue could make it unlikely that we would need the transportation benefit district option,” Mayor Debbie Klosowski said before the meeting.
The city receives liquor profits and taxes, which amount to about $400,000 a year, but Interim City Manager Steve Sugg drastically reduced the amount in the his proposed 2011-12 budget, anticipating voters would approve one or both measures on Nov. 2. Fifty-three percent of statewide voters turned down Initiative 1100 and 64 percent of voters rejected Initiative 1105.
Sugg had budgeted about $200,000 in 2011 as the phasing in of either initiative was anticipated to bring in six months of revenue. He anticipated no revenue the following years.
Sugg had proposed a balanced budget, but the council was exploring using revenue from the transportation benefit district to pay for additions in spending it brought forward. It trimmed some costs, but the cost savings wasn’t enough to pay for the additions, primarily hiring a full-time police investigator at a cost of $130,000 in 2011 and $145,000 in 2012. The costs includes training and equipping the new officer.
The council is scheduled to conclude its budget discussions and adopt the two-year spending plan on Monday.