Gateway: Opinion

Letters to the Editor, March 11

Gig Harbor has penchant for tax increases

In raising the specter of a property tax increase in her letter (Gateway, March 4), Jeni Woock might have also mentioned Gig Harbor's intent to raise utility rates this year. The recent history of these rates indicates a penchant by the city to favor revenue increases rather than expenditure control to make ends meet.

Gig Harbor has consistently raised these rates since 2004. Water rates have increased 67 percent since then; sewer rates 117 percent and storm water rates 69 percent.

During the same period the consumer price index, a measure of inflation, rose only 25 percent. Now the city is poised to increase these rates again by 5 percent (water), 3.5 percent (sewer) and 3.5 percent (storm water) once more.

One must remember that these rates are also taxed. The city taxes each of the service charges by another 5 percent (and the state taxes them by 5.029 percent, 3.85 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively), rapidly compounding the rate increase to even higher taxpayer costs. While this practice of taxing municipal service charges might be regarded as double taxation, the greater concern is the city's apparent inability to live within its means.

Don Bremner

Gig Harbor