Friday, October 4, 2013
Lakewood Chamber Opposes Tacoma Utility Tax Prop 1
The City of Tacoma will ask its citizens to approve an additional 2% gross earnings tax on revenues earned by the city’s utilities in the November 5 general election ballot to mitigate costs associated with road improvements. This tax will be in addition to the current City of Tacoma 6% gross earnings tax charged Tacoma Power and its ratepayers. In addition, there is a state public utility tax of 3.873% on the gross earnings of Tacoma Power.
When Proposition 1 was first announced, Bill Gaines, the director and CEO of Tacoma Public Utilities, said that if voters approve a 2 percent tax on TPU’s earnings, the utility would be forced to cover its costs by raising consumers’ rates by a similar amount.
The vote on the tax will go to Tacoma residents, but TPU serves 160,000 customers - nearly half outside Tacoma. If the tax is passed along, it would be passed along to customers in Lakewood, Fircrest, University Place, Fife, parts of Steilacoom, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and unincorporated Pierce County, as well.