By Chris Winters Herald Writer
EVERETT — New and increased taxes and fees signed into law by the mayor go into effect Tuesday.
The increases are part of Mayor Ray Stephanson’s ongoing effort to close a $13 million deficit in 2015, which had been expected to grow to $21 million by 2018.
The slate of new or increased taxes and fees is expected to raise about $9.5 million in new revenue.
Some of those changes go into effect Tuesday, while others commence Jan. 1.
Here’s a breakdown of the new revenue sources:
Vehicle owners whose cars are towed must pay unpaid parking tickets before vehicles will be released, and illegally parked cars can be impounded after four or more parking infractions.
Planning Department fees for a variety of services have been increased. The full fee schedule is included within the ordinance, available online at everettwa.org/Get_PDF.aspx?pdfID=8028.
The fee for business licenses has risen to $75 from $10, plus $20 for each additional location in the city, and annual renewal fees of up to $75 have been added.
Effective Jan. 1
Utility taxes for natural gas, electricity and phone service will rise to 6 percent from 4.5 percent. New taxes for garbage and cable services of 2 percent will rise in 2016 to 4 percent and in 2017 to 6 percent.
Traffic mitigation fees and certain other impact fees, which affect most construction projects, are rising to $2,400 per peak-hour vehicle trip generated by the project, from $900 per peak-hour trip.
In addition, a new Transportation Benefit District comes into existence Tuesday. It will have the authority to create a $20 car license renewal fee. The fee will not go into effect until the board of the new district, composed of members of the City Council, votes to enact it.
The new revenue is expected to be supplemented by $3 million in budget cuts and savings. Last Wednesday, the council awarded a contract to Mauldin, South Carolina-based The Gordian Group to subcontract smaller public works projects to reduce lead time and costs. The measure is projected to save the city $150,000 in 2015.
An additional $3.7 million in unspent revenue from 2013 will make up the balance of the 2015 deficit.
The city is undergoing a review of some departments to look for ways to cut the budget even further, starting with the Everett Fire Department.
Chris Winters: 425-374-4165 or firstname.lastname@example.org.