Edgewood City Utility Tax Repeal (2010)
This measure was defeated
- YES 844 (28.24%)
- NO 2,145 (71.76%)
The city council approved a utility tax on December 8, 3.5 percent which would be taken out of resident's utility bills. This was enacted in order to help close a budget gap the city will face in the coming year. Edgewood is one of two cities in the county that do not have a utility tax currently. City residents took up a petition drive to get this tax repealed and voted on by residents because they do not think it fair to further tax people while the economy is tough and people are already struggling to pay taxes. City officials noted that if the tax was repealed then without the added money many services in the city would have to be cut, including police services. The city council also tried in 2005 to enact a utility tax, but it was voted down after residents had their say.
On January 16, 1,250 signatures were turned into the election office, awaiting approval. Petitioners believe that the large number should show the city how much citizens do not want to have to pay this tax in addition to their others. City officials state that the tax is needed to close the budget gap and that it is only in place for three years before it would have to be approved again by residents. Two council members agree that the city should have allowed for voter approval from the start.
The issue was approved for the April ballot, with 1,201 valid signatures being turned in for the petition drive. Council members noted that they felt they have cut as much as they can from the budget and feel that the repeal of this tax will further hurt the city. But opponents say that the city has plenty of money and the further taxing of residents is not needed.
Text of Measure
The text of the measure reads as follows:
Gross Receipts Utility Tax
The City Council of the City of Edgewood passed Ordinance No. 09-0331 concerning imposition of a gross receipts utility tax and the qualified electors of the City have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this ordinance. If approved, this ordinance would impose a 3.5% utility tax on the gross receipts of providers of telephone service, cable television, natural gas, electricity, sanitary sewer, storm water and solid waste collection. This ordinance also provides that the 3.5% gross receipts utility tax will automatically expire 36 months after theeffective date.
- Pierce County Elections, Current Election Results (dead link)
- The News Tribune, "Effort starts to repeal Edgewood utility tax," December 20, 2009
- The News Tribune, "Vote on Edgewood tax closer," January 16, 2010
- The News Tribune, "Utility tax will go to Edgewood voters," April 12, 2010
- Pierce County Elections Voters Pamphlet, pg.8 (dead link)