Langley may extend water utility tax

A 6-percent utility tax to the 165 city water users outside the city limits will be discussed at this week’s Langley City Council meeting.

The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 19, at city hall on Second Street. A public council workshop will be at 3 p.m.

The new tax is a recommendation of the council’s finance committee. The council will study the proposal, but will take no action Monday.

Water users inside the city already are paying the 6-percent utility tax.

The tax is designed to provide revenue to help pay for fire-related services such as hydrants, storage, pumping and water mains. A recent state Supreme Court ruling says fire-related costs must come out of a city’s general fund.

Since city water revenues go into a separate water fund, the utility tax was levied on city residents to help pay for fire protection.

Because city water users outside the city also receive water for fire protection, they should also pay the tax, the finance committee said.

The out-of-city users include Sandy Point.

A public hearing on the proposal is tentatively scheduled for the following city council meeting, May 3, with a second reading and possible adoption on May 17.

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