City council criticized for budget & downtown improvement taxes - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

City council criticized for proposed budget and downtown improvement taxes

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YAKIMA, Wash- Some angry city residents showed up to the Yakima City Council meeting Tuesday night.  The city is expecting a nearly two million-dollar budget deficit for 2012. So they've proposed cuts to twenty city jobs including police, fire, and the assistant city manager.

At Tuesday night's council meeting residents were invited to give their opinion on the budget, but most took the time to criticize the city council and proposed taxes.

The council did not take any action on the budget, but the final version does need to be approved by the end of the year.  Although most of the speakers talked about the proposed utility tax and car tax fee increases, the actual hearing for those issues is November 29.

The city council also voted tonight to move forward with a new 77-block downtown business improvement district.  The old district expired in September when enough business and property owners didn't sign on to renew it.

The new proposal addressed some of the owner's concerns such as setting the tax depending on where the property is located, and letting owners be part of an advisory board.  However some who showed up tonight still think it over-steps.

This plan offers trash and graffiti removal, and some gardening services and marketing to properties downtown.  The council will hold a public hearing on the plan December 6.  They say if you have an opinion on the issue be sure to come voice it.

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