Hoquiam imposes tax increase starting Jan. 1; sunset expiration in 2027

A utility tax increase is coming to Hoquiam.

At their Monday meeting, the Hoquiam City Council approved a 3% increase on the current “Water business, stormwater disposal business or sewage disposal business” tax.

Currently, the tax rate is set at 12%, although starting on January 1, 2023 the rate will increase to 15%.

The tax is levied on “any water business, stormwater disposal business, or sewage disposal business” and is based on the total gross revenue from such business. 

The additional charge will be added onto the water, stormwater, and sewer rate schedules. 

Mayor Winkelman spoke during discussion to say that the change is needed due to the current cost of infrastructure not being supported by the tax already in place, although he stated that the hope is that this increase could be removed as the situation rights itself.

Along with the change, a sunset was added to revert the tax back to 12% as of January 1, 2027.

Councilmember Steven Puvogal said that this sunset was important, but it was put in as a hopeful change.

Councilmember Brenda Carlstrom spoke about a proposed letter, informing those impacted of the change and explaining the need.

The vote to impose the increase was not unanimous, with councilmembers Anderson, Brooks, and Pelligrini voting no. Councilmember Hinchen was absent.