MABTON - Not a single comment was offered from any community members at the public hearing last night (Wednesday) that focused on the city of Mabton's 2008 budget.
Adopted by a unanimous vote, the new budget eliminates a police officer position, public works employee position and city administrator position.
The 2008 budget also calls for an increase in the water/sewer/garbage utility tax from 6 percent to 25 percent. That is expected to be approved by Mabton City Council at its Jan. 8 meeting.
Councilwoman Oping Hutson was unwilling to increase the tax by more than 15 percent and voted against increasing it to 25 percent at a previous meeting.
"As a senior citizen on (a) fixed income, and we have quite a few residents here (that are), I did not like increasing the utility tax to 25 percent.
"Residents must understand though, that in order to balance the budget, we have to increase revenues and drastically cut expenses. We have done just that," Hutson said.
Councilman Angel Reyna said, "I feel bad that we had to do it. I acknowledge that the slightest increase in any bill impacts a lot of families in our community in a negative way."
Both Reyna and Hutson expressed a desire to lower the utility tax in the future, when city revenues allow for it.
When council does pass the ordinance raising the utility tax, a 6 percent utility tax for phones is also expected to be adopted, creating new revenue for the city.
Residents will also see an increase in yard sale permits and dog license fees.