The City Council this week discussed a user tax on utility bills to raise money for deferred maintenance jobs, such as road repairs.
In 1984, the gross utility receipts from five utilities doing business in Rancho Palos Verdes amounted to $34 million. Charging users 0.5% tax on their utility bills would yield $172,000. Charging as much as 8% would bring in almost $3 million.
Kevin Peterson, customer relations manager for General Telephone Co. of California, was the only member of the audience to address the council on the matter. He said telephone company customers who pay a utility tax are charged hidden fees as part of the company's rates to offset administrative costs.
In the past two months the council has discussed three other revenue-raising alternatives: increasing business license fees, taxing admission prices to entertainment activities in the city and attaching a yearly household user fee on refuse collection.
The council will explore franchising refuse collection as a way to raise money at a public hearing at the next City Council meeting on Dec. 3.