LETTER: Des Moines Mayor Kaplan says utility tax is off Dec. 17 council agenda

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Waterland Blog nor its staff:]

Based on conversations with fellow councilmembers and the public, I’ve pulled the utility tax issue off of the December 17th Des Moines City Council agenda. It will not be voted on in 2015. If it gets addressed, it will be early next year … and after more conversation with the utility districts.

The City has long-standing budget issues that we have an obligation to address. Our constituents have demanded the level of police, park & recreation, and other services we are currently providing … and have asked for more police services. To balance these interests will take a combination of efficiencies, cuts, and additional revenues. That is what we’ve been working on since early August.

The City has the right to impose a utility tax on water and sewer services. If we wind up adopting one, we will also implement a rebate program for low-income seniors and the disabled.

Regarding a franchise agreement, we tried getting the utility districts interested in adopting one about four and a half years ago, but without much interest. Only Water District #54 and Lakehaven Water & Sewer District chose to enter into one at that time.

Listening to the community, we will try to come to some agreement with the utility districts early next year; but we preserve our right to implement a tax if needed.

– Dave Kaplan
Mayor & Councilmember
City of Des Moines, WA

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