Half of Everett’s New Taxes and Fees to Kick in July 8th, Others Start January 1st

Everett's new fees and taxes

It’s soon going to cost you more to live and do business in Everett, WA.

Meghan Pembroke, communications director for the City of Everett sent out a helpful press release today explaining the various taxes and fees requested by the Mayor and approved by the City Council to help reduce Everett’s budget gap. Some of them will take effect on July 8th while the others begin the 1st of the year…

Mayor Ray Stephanson signed seven ordinances into law on Monday, June 23, after they were passed by the City Council last week. The ordinances were developed to bring Everett’s rate and fee structures into line with other jurisdictions and to better reflect the cost of providing city services.

Three of the ordinances, related to planning fees, vehicle-impound fees and business licenses, take effect Tuesday, July 8, 2014:

  • By amendment of an existing ordinance, vehicle owners now must pay any unpaid parking infractions in full before their vehicles can be released from impound. Illegally parked vehicles can be impounded after four or more parking infractions.


  • A new ordinance establishes a revised fee structure for land-use applications, permits, review processes and other services provided by the city’s planning department. The full list of fees is included within the ordinance. Beginning in 2016, the fees will be adjusted annually in accordance with the most recent change in the Consumer Price Index.


  • By amendment of an existing ordinance, business owners will be required to obtain a business license for a fee of $75, plus $20 for each additional business location within the city. The ordinance also establishes an annual renewal fee of $75 for businesses with a gross income of $20,000 or more in the preceding year. Businesses making less than $20,000 will pay an annual renewal of $25. Currently, the city charges a one-time business license fee of $10, an amount that has not increased in more than 30 years.


Three ordinances related to utility taxes, and impact and mitigation fees will become effective on Jan. 1, 2015:


  • Under Everett’s new utility tax ordinance, rates will increase from 4.5 to 6 percent for natural gas, electricity and phone service beginning in January 2015. The tax rate for garbage and cable will be 2 percent in 2015, increasing to 4 percent in 2016 and 6 percent in 2017. The city’s utility tax rate has not been revised for more than 15 years.


  • The city’s traffic-mitigation and small-project impact fees will increase from $900 to $2,400 per peak trip. The traffic-mitigation fee applies to most construction projects within the city limits. The small-project impact fee applies to smaller projects that are not subject to State Environmental Policy Act review. The proceeds from these fees fund city projects to help mitigate transportation impacts from construction. The fees will be reviewed annually using the Washington State Department of Transportation’s construction-cost index and adjusted accordingly to account for inflation.


Finally, a new ordinance establishes a transportation benefit district, effective Tuesday, July 8. Once the district is enacted, the City Council, as its governing board, can establish a funding ordinance for the district, which could include a $20 car-tab fee for vehicles registered in Everett. The car-tab fee would likely not take effect until early 2015. Funds from the car-tab fee would be used for street preservation and maintenance projects.


Budget work continues

The next phase of the city’s ongoing deficit-reduction work includes comprehensive studies of several large departments, including the fire and police departments and Everett Transit. The city has issued a request for qualifications for a fire department assessment and expects to award the contract to an independent consultant this fall.

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My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring news and events in Everett, Washington. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett.

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