Funding options for streets explained

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WALLA WALLA - City Manager Nabiel Shawa explained four options to increase street maintenance funds.

  • Option A, Shawa explained, would be to tack on $50 to that $30 vehicle tab renewal fee. Add to this the $13 of required fees, and the average cost for a passenger vehicle would be $93 per year; vehicles over 4,000 pounds and trucks would pay more. Currently, the city has the right to add up to a $20 vehicle tab fee, but anything above that would require a simple majority general voter approval.
  • Option B would be to implement a property tax levy of 50 cents per every $1,000 of assessed property value; the owner of a $150,000 home would pay $75 per year. The levy would also require a simple majority voter approval.
  • Option C would be an additional two-tenths of a percent to the current 8.6 percent sales tax. This too would require a simple majority voter approval, but the additional sales tax could only be collected for 10 years, after which point voters would have to approve it again. Walla Walla County is also considering adding one-tenth of a percent to fund mental health services. If both passed, the sales tax in Walla Walla would be 8.9 percent.
  • Option D came with a caveat of threatened cuts to the Aviary, library or other departments, as $1 million would be dedicated from the general budget. This would not require voter approval, but also would not increase taxes.

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