Utility customers in Battle Ground will see relief on some of their bills as the Battle Ground City Council OKed the drop of tax rates for water, sewer and stormwater from 22 percent to 12 percent.
The council approved the drop during its June 1 meeting, seeking to ease the burden on ratepayers during the COVID-19 crisis, a release from the city stated. The drop is effective immediately and will be seen on June utility statements, with the city estimating the average residential utility customer would see about $60 in savings through the end of the year.
The council’s vote essentially puts cuts already planned for 2021 in effect earlier. Those cuts were approved following the voter approval of the city being annexed by Clark County Fire District 3.
“The response to COVID-19 has created adverse economic consequences in our community – especially for workers and small businesses,” Mayor Adrian Cortes said. “Council’s policy decision to reduce the utility tax is intended to help the community through this difficult time.”
The cut is expected to reduce revenues to the city’s general fund by $540,000, the release stated, a deficit the city will absorb with reserve savings. General fund revenues are used for “core municipal services” like public safety, public works, community development, and parks and recreation.
As the city’s public health emergency declaration remains in effect, Battle Ground is not currently disconnecting service or assessing late fees for non-payment, the release noted. The city requests those who can pay to continue to do so.