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City budget shows small hike in property tax, some utilities

The cost of living in the city of Enumclaw apparently will increase slightly during the coming year.

The seven members of the City Council will make everything official Dec. 9 when they formally adopt a 2014 municipal budget, but the numbers being considered haven’t changed much from the 2013 spending plan.

Throughout the state, property taxes are limited to a 1 percent bump annually, an increase the city plans to implement. Presently, property owners are paying nearly $1.39 for every $1,000 of assessed property value. Plans for 2014 now call for a rate increase of a little more than a penny per $1,000 of assessed value, or less than $3 per year.

The owner of a property – home and land – valued at $250,000 would pay city property taxes of $349.45 during 2014.

Of course, the city collects just a small portion of the total property tax bill. Other taxing entities – school, library and fire districts, for example – add significantly to a property owner’s final tax bill.

Another element in the city budget that hits residents in the pocketbook is utilities.

The good news for residents is that most numbers appear to be staying flat for the coming year. There is no increase planned for natural gas and just 1 percent increases built into the budget for water and wastewater services.

There’s a 2 percent increase planned for trash disposal. The rate hike is needed to meet desired reserves and in anticipation of higher rates charged by King County for garbage disposal, according to the city’s 2014 budget document.

City customers also pay taxes on their utilities, but the city is not looking at bumping up those rates.

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