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City's budget to include $20 car tab fee and removal of utility tax cap

City to charge $20 car tab fee and remove utility tax cap in 2018

YAKIMA, Wash.-- Depending on who you are, people may be dipping into their pockets a little more in 2018. The city council adopted their budget Tuesday, and they've officially decided on how they're going to raise more money for the city.

“So, there’s two revenue enhancements that were part of this budget. One was a transportation benefit district, which the council approved funding for last night. That will add $20 per car tab for each registered vehicle in the city. That won't start for six months,” said City Manager Cliff Moore.

And another way the city plans to raise money?

“Council approved elimination of the utility tax cap. That will affect a small number of businesses in the community. Those are businesses that are already paying over $200 thousand a month in utility bills, and on average, it will add about $10 thousand a year to their overall bill,” said Moore.

He says as far as the city spending money, the budget is tight.

“The 2018 budget is a very cautious budget. It's a live-within-our-means budget. We focus a lot on the general fund because that's the operational budget that we use to support police and fire, and all the operations here at City Hall. So, our general fund budget will increase by 1.7% next year, to about $78 million.

Moore says that a huge part of the budget goes toward staff, and part of the budget increase is due to inflation.

“80% of our budget goes to staff in salaries and benefits, so that's the main part of our budget in any year. And really, since the recession began in 2009, we actually have fewer staff members at the City of Yakima than we did seven or eight years ago, and we haven't reduced our level of service,” said Moore.

Jared Cappa lives in Yakima, and he says he knows what he'd like to see the city spend money on.

“I drive a lot, so I would probably say the roads. The roads are all bumpy and they're all cracked, and I hate bouncing around in my car every single time I drive,” said Cappa.

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