LONG BEACH — Residents will likely see higher taxes in 2020.
At Long Beach City Council’s Nov. 4 meeting, councilors discussed 2020 budget updates, approved two agreements, and honored the city’s wastewater treatment plant staff.
The council’s next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Nov. 18.
2020 budget updates: Long Beach City Council discussed the city’s 2020 budget during workshops on Nov. 4 and Oct. 28. Noteworthy updates include tax increases and major projects.
Taxpayers, aside from qualifying low-income residents and seniors, can expect to pay $7.92 more per month, or 6 percent more, for water, sewer and stormwater funds. The increase is a cumulative increase for the funds.
Residents can also expect a 1% property tax increase. The increase will bring the city about $6,300.
The tax increases are expected to be adopted by the end of December. The council will vote on whether to adopt the increases.
Water-related projects include replacing outdated meters and system upgrades. The city’s main sewer-related project is finishing the biosolids treatment plant, which will mostly complete by January. The city will focus on lift upgrades after the plant is finished.
Expenses from the city’s general fund cover a variety of services such as parks, law enforcement and the fire department. Worth noting is that 40 percent of the city’s general fund goes toward law enforcement. In 2020, the city will use about $700,000 for a new police department. The funds come from the state’s Legislature.
Business and Occupancy Tax: Councilors adopted state-required updates to the city’s business and occupancy tax. The update adds definitions for digital sales and goods. The changes add online businesses to the city’s business and occupancy taxing umbrella.
Washington State Parks agreement: Councilors approved an agreement between the city and Washington State Parks. Under the agreement, city staff maintain the Bolstad and Sid Snyder approaches in 2020 and 2021. In turn, State Parks reimburses the city for money spent maintaining the approaches. The agreement has been in place for over 20 years.
Wastewater treatment center award: Mayor Jerry Phillips acknowledged the city’s wastewater treatment center operators, as the plant recently was awarded an “outstanding performance award” by the state.
Plant supervisor John Goulter, operator Kris Booi, and apprentice Tye Caldwell accepted the award.