The Tacoma City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to create two dedicated funds to repair and improve city roads.
Voters will decide in November whether to approve Proposition 1, which will tax the earnings of electric, phone and natural gas companies. City Manager T.C. Broadnax projects the tax will collect up to $11 million per year. Broadnax said the rates of the affected companies’ residential customers could rise by as much as $5 per month.
Members of the public had expressed skepticism that the money would be spent on road improvements instead of something else.
Just before the vote, Mayor Marilyn Strickland said the vote would put the road money “on lockdown” and prevent future city councils from spending it on other projects.
The council’s vote will also add about $6.2 million per year previously spent on general government costs to the dedicated road fund regardless of whether Proposition 1 passes.
Broadnax said if voters approve the utility earnings tax, the money will allow the city to repair 18,000 potholes, improve 46 school zones and repave or resurface 510 city blocks – all within a five-year period.kate.martin@ thenewstribune.com