MLT council being tricky with increase

Earlier this year the mayor of Mountlake Terrace, Dave Gossett, applauded Mountlake Terrace’s city’s reduction of its utility tax to 5 percent from 6 percent in response to a large increase in the underlying cost of electricity. Noting that the rate increases will likely create a hardship upon the Mountlake Terrace citizens, the council has now extended that 5 percent rate on electricity, but only to Sept. 30, 2003. They have written the ordinance so that the rate reverts automatically back to 6 percent on Oct. 1, 2003, with no necessity of further discussion or additional vote by the council. Such raw political courage! Take credit for a temporary tax cut and pass a stealth increase back to the old rate in the future when the blame will fall on someone else.

Since electricity rates are unlikely to decrease in the interim, I ask the mayor, has the council he heads decided that the “hardship” will magically disappear on Oct. 1, 2003? Does the council think people are so unintelligent they won’t notice when this time capsule grenade explodes in their utility bill or maybe they are hoping that two years from now everyone will have forgotten?

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