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Challenge Filed to Utility Tax Ballot Measure
A lawsuit has been filed challenging the ballot measure that would ask Tacoma voters to decide on whether to impose an additional 2% tax on utility company earnings to fund work on Tacoma’s roads.
Last Tuesday Tacoma City Council approved a resolution placing City of Tacoma Proposition 1 on the November ballot. This Tuesday a political group with the unambiguous name “Stop Higher Utility Taxes” filed the lawsuit calling the ballot measure “impermissibly confusing to voters.”
The News Tribune reports that the lawsuit makes several complaint about the wording of the ballot measure.
- It doesn’t state explicitly that utility customers’ rates might go up.
- It doesn’t state that the 2% tax would be an increase on top of the current 6% tax on utility earnings - which is already passed along to customers.
- The title says revenue raised would fund “Tacoma street improvements,” while the body of the proposition says it would fund “basic maintenance and safety upgrades.”
The campaign filing the lawsuit is lead by Bill Stauffcher, and represents businesses and individuals including Simpson Kraft, although Stauffacher says no money has been contributed yet. The City has through next Tuesday to make any revisions to the language of the ballot measure.
So, are you confused?
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