Officials in two cities have approved utility taxes they say are necessary to raise money to increase police protection and pay for general city services such as street and sewer repairs and recreational services. Another city will consider a utility tax increase this week.
Downey City Council members unanimously voted at a special meeting Tuesday to approve an ordinance reinstating the city's utility tax. The 3% tax should begin appearing on residents' electricity, gas and telephone bills in January, Assistant City Manager Lee Powell said. The city is expecting to raise about $2.1 million annually and plans to use the money to hire 27 police officers.
During a special meeting last week, Lynwood officials approved a 10% utility tax to raise money for fire and police protection and for repairs to streets and sewers. The money also will be used for recreational services. Officials said they expect to raise about $4.1 million annually from the tax, which should appear on bills in 60 to 90 days.
The Compton City Council will hold a special meeting at 10 a.m. Monday to consider increasing its utility tax from 5% to 7%.
Some cities are moving swiftly to pass tax ordinances because of Proposition 136 on the ballot Tuesday. If passed, the initiative would require that voters approve any proposed increase in taxes.