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Port Angeles council agrees to utility rate, property tax hikes

November 6th, 2013 - 6:22am

(Port Angeles) Utility rates and property taxes will be going up shortly, following action by the Port Angeles city council last night.

The city council agreed with staff to bring rate increases for nearly all of the city's utilities. Phil Lusk, Deputy Director of Power and Communications Systems, says the city needs to raise rates to pay for a number of items. He says much of the increase can be pinned on paying for the unfunded state mandates requiring the city's Combined Sewer Overflow project and stabilizing the bluff at the former landfill site.

He also says the city is facing a ten percent hike in wholesale power rates from the Bonneville Power Administration.

Lusk says the average customer will see about their overall utility bill go up about 14 dollars a month.

City property taxes will also see a hike, but they won't be as expensive as the utility increases. City chief Financial Officer Byron Olson says the city council has authorized taking the state-allowed one percent annual increase in property tax rates next year.

He says that will bring in about 43-thousand additional dollars next year for the city. Olson says a 150-thousand dollar house will see about a four dollar increase in property taxes next year.

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