City Council to hold hearing on property tax changes Tuesday

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Property taxes could go down for some Port Angeles residents under a proposal before the City Council, say city officials.

City Council members will hold a public hearing on proposed property tax changes and 2013 revenue sources at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in their chambers at Port Angeles City Hall, 321 East Fifth St.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

The Tuesday public hearing will be continued to the Nov. 20 City Council meeting, when council members will vote on the proposed property tax adjustments.

City Manager Dan McKeen is proposing a 1 percent property tax increase, according to the city’s 2013 preliminary budget, which is expected to bring about $4.2 million into city coffers in 2013.

The $4.2 million includes the 1 percent increase permitted by state law.

That increase is expected to bring in about $41,000 more compared to last year, according to the preliminary city budget.

Could be less for some

Property taxes could decrease for some, however, because city payments are ending on bonds that helped pay for the city’s senior center and fire hall, city officials said.

For example, the owner of a $180,000 home in Port Angeles would pay, under the current proposal, $500 in property taxes to the city.

This is a decrease of $13, or 2 percent, from the same homeowner’s 2012 city property tax bill.

McKeen has presented a 2013 operating budget with $18.7 million in the general fund, which pays for the majority of the costs associated with the city’s departments.

That figure is about 5 percent, or about $1 million, less than the general fund amount in the city’s final 2012 budget.

The city’s total operating budget for 2013 is expected to be $99.7 million, up nearly 4 percent from last year, primarily because of increases in city electricity costs.

The general fund fits inside the city’s total operating budget, McKeen said.

The $99.7 million includes all the costs associated with the city’s utilities, such as electricity, and is higher than last year to reflect the increase in utility rates City Council members approved in October, McKeen explained.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 03. 2012 5:43PM
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