Tacoma voters will decide whether to raise taxes on utilities

moneyTACOMA — The Tacoma City Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to place a measure on the November general election ballot that would raise taxes on utility companies to pay for city roads.

The measure would levy an additional % earnings tax on electricity, natural gas and telephone utilities.

The City Council said this additional 2% tax will be solely dedicated to fund basic maintenance and safety upgrades, city roads, arterials, and bridges; permanent pothole repairs; pedestrian safety improvements to crosswalks near schools, sidewalks, and intersections; repaving neighborhood streets; and improved signal timing.

These earnings will generate a dedicated long-term, funding source for street maintenance and safety improvements of $10 million to $11 million annually, the City Council said.

Over the next three months, the council said, there will be a series of community meetings so voters can make an informed decision on Nov. 5.

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