Update on Taxes in U.P.

Last year, the City Council approved a six percent utility tax on Tacoma Public Utilities and Pierce County Sewers operations in the City. This rate matches the tax rate paid to the City by private sector utility providers. Three percent of the tax will begin in April 2021, with the other half of the tax being implemented in April 2022. TPU has informed the City that they intend to pass the tax along to U.P. residents and businesses by increasing their rates. TPU also announced that they will institute an additional two percent rate increase beginning in April.
The portion of the rate increase attributable to the City’s utility tax will be offset significantly by two other changes. The amount that the average U.P. homeowner will pay the City in property taxes this year will decrease by 1.34% (please note that the City receives a small portion of the property taxes you pay – only 6.6% of your total bill). The City Council also approved a decrease in the Transportation Benefit District fee (included on your vehicle license tab renewal), from $35 a year to $10 a year for the next five years. As a result, the average U.P. homeowner with two vehicles and average utility usage will pay the City only $1.02 more per month in total in 2021 than in 2020.
To get more detail about these changes, please review the Feb. 17, 2021 issue of the City’s Headlines e-newsletter. If you are not currently receiving Headlines, you can sign up to receive it here.
If you have questions about the City’s taxes or fees, please feel free to email Assistant City Manager Eric Faison or call him at 253.460.5443.