Utility tax passed in Yakima: council member plans to reverse it - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Utility tax passed in Yakima but a council member plans to reverse it

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YAKIMA, Wash- A tax increase passed Tuesday night in Yakima.  The point was to save city jobs like police and fire but after hours of debate those jobs may still be in jeopardy.  

The purpose of the six percent utility tax hike is to avoid about two million in cuts to city services.  The most high profile of those cuts would be six vacant police and one vacant fire fighter position. 

Although the city council voted five to two to raise the utility tax and avoid those cuts, not all of the yes votes were really in favor of that proposal.  City council member Rick Ensey says he voted for the tax although he opposes it.  However his "yes vote" allows him to bring up the issue again if he changes his vote to "no". 

Since Ensey made his intentions clear, both the police and fire chief are still left with uncertainty.  If they hire those positions, they may end up having to lay off those people if the council reverses their decision.  So although the council passed the tax, it's unclear whether it will make a difference.