Mayor’s Blog: Something Has to Give if We Cut the Utility Tax
Yakima City Council meetings can get heated, especially when the topic involves taxes. For some reason it's tough to have a civil conversation and debate when dealing with an issue like that.
At last night's meeting, Councilman Rick Ensey made a motion to lower the utility tax by 2 percent, which would cut average household bills by about $2 a month. That would reduce the city's annual revenue by about $804,000, leaving a significant hole in the budget.
I'm not opposed to lowering taxes if we can first hear from the public and second agree as a council on all of the budget cuts that would be needed to be make up for that lost money. Thankfully, the council voted to have a public hearing and agree on all the cuts before the tax is lowered.
We as a body have been talking about a charter amendment for parks to the tune of $750,000. We have aging city pools, a North First Street revitalization project and a number of major issues on the horizon.
No matter what happens, we will see the city budget and possibly services take a hit if we let this go through, and before that happens I want to know what those services and cuts would be and allow the public a chance to sound off on the matter.
I'll keep you posted as this progresses.