Public Affairs, Not Politics

Disclaimer: It is the position of the Angle Lake Shore Club and its governing board to remain neutral in the affairs of politics and religion. However, governmental administrative decisions which may result in having an impact on the community, both positive and/or negative, shall occasionally appear within this blog. The presentation of this information is intended to remain neutral with the objective of delivering unbiased information to inform the receiver and enable them to form their own opinion on the reported manner. 

Proposed Utility Tax
Statements are being made declaring that it will not be possible to maintain the basic City service levels and fund capital improvements without a new source of revenue.  Agenda Bill #3648 proposes an Ordinance to create a new Chapter 3.90 of the SeaTac Municipal Code related to the establishment of a Tax on the Gross Revenues and Certain Utilities Operating within the City to provide revenue for City Services and Capital requirements. The tax shall be levied on the utility, not the customer, and must be paid from utility revenues. However, the utilities will likely pass the cost of the tax onto the customer.

The Ordinance will generate an estimated $2.7 million per year. The revenue generated will be deposited into the City's General Fund, to be used for funding general City services or capital facilities as the City Council directs through the budget process.

The utility tax is expected to apply to the following service types billed to addresses within SeaTac City Limits:
  • Electricity 
  • Water 
  • Sewer 
  • Stormwater 
  • Natural Gas 
  • Communications: Telephone, Mobile Phone, Paging 
  • Cable TV 
  • Solid Waste (garbage)
The proposed tax will be 6% of revenues. If each of the service providers chose to pass this added expenses on to you, the consumer, estimating the impact of this proposal on your own household can be made by adding up the annual cost of each of the utilities you consume from the list above, then multiply this total by .06 (6%) to calculate the total potential cost to your household for the year.

Public Comments
If this matter is important to you, Public Comments are received at the beginning of the Council Study Session this Tuesday October 14th at 4 p.m. and/or the Regular Council Meeting on the same date at 6:30 p.m. (both meetings are at City Hall in the Council Chambers). If you are unable to attend these meetings you can send the Council Members an email letting them know your opinion of this proposal.

Further detail is available for review on pages 84 – 92 contained within the Council Study Session / Regular Council Meeting Packet.


Vicki Lockwood said...

Thank you for making this proposal known to the public. This is a significant new tax burden that is being proposed on all of us, and the amount is independent of your income or the value of your assets (home, etc.). It is a flat use tax, and will cost everyone the same percentage, based upon your use of utilities. There is no exemption for seniors or those on fixed incomes, there is no consideration for those who may be ill and require more heat or electricity or water, etc. and there is no break for those with larger families who will consume more utilities than those living alone. I’ve done the math for my own household, and this would have cost me more than $325 this year at the previous 12-month rates. And as the utility rates increase, so will our individual tax obligation.

Our City’s Founding Fathers were adamant about the residents of SeaTac not paying a utility tax. Their reasoning was that we have the unique tax revenue from the parking tax imposed on every vehicle that pays to park within our City, and that this was a “cash cow” that would eliminate the need for our residents to pay this particular tax. This was one of the perks for those of us choosing to live near the airport. These same Founders also were adamant about our City having a “Rainy Day Fund” for unforeseen events, and they maintained this “citizen insurance” diligently for years. However, our current “new kids on the block” have blown through this cushion and now have us headed for bankruptcy if we continue on their current path. The choice to alter our destiny is to either tighten their purse strings or create some source of new revenue … guess which option they chose!

I urge each of you to take the time to realize the impact that this tax will have on your own household BEFORE this tax is implemented, and to let your voice be heard before our politicians make their decision on this proposal.

Fuzz Hill said...

Please click the following link to access the documented response written up by Valley View Sewer District in response to the City of SeaTac proposed taxation on Municiple Utilities: