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SeaTac City Council passed a 6 percent utility tax

By James Bermingham

SeaTac City Council passed a 6 percent utility tax by a 5-2. The tax will take effect January 1, 2015.

The vote passed despite unanimous opposition during public comments. The tax, which will apply to cable, gas and electricity, stormwater, and landlines, was aimed at addressing a $5.5 million projected budget deficit for the 2015-2016 general fund. Recently, the council removed water and sewer from the tax.

Councilmembers Pam Fernald and Terry Anderson voted against the tax.
“The Reality is the only way we’re going to get there is by this tax, nobody likes to put a new tax out there,” said Councilmember Barry Ladenburg.

That sentiment was echoed by Deputy Mayor Tony Anderson, “We aren’t going to make up a multi-million dollar deficit with only budget cuts. Police and fire make up over half the budget and I don’t think we should make cuts in public safety.”

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