Lynnwood City Council considering a tax increase to ease budget strain

The Lynnwood City Council is considering raising certain taxes to help deal with a  large budget shortfall. (Last month a consultant projected the city could be up to $4.8 million in the hole.)

One of the ideas would create a 4% utility tax. This could affect your sewer, water, gas and electricity bills and is estimated to generate more than $1 million of new revenue in 2010. Council President Ted Hikel told me they might vote on that tonight after a public hearing.

The Council also is considering the creation of a Transportation Benefit District (TBD). This could come in the form of either a vehicle registration fee or a sales tax increase. The Council could levy a vehicle registration fee of $20 or under without a public vote. Anything over that, or an increase in the sales tax, would require voter approval. A public hearing on the TBD is scheduled for next Monday’s City Council meeting.

Additionally, the Everett Herald reports some council members have suggested cutting the two-person Office of Neighborhoods and Community Affairs to save money, although some residents have spoken against the move.

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