CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- It's your money, and if you live in Cape Coral, your electric bill could soon be going up. But it's not LCEC, it will be the city charging you more.
WINK News has told you the money will go towards paving roads and keeping parks open. The city wants to add a ten percent tax to your LCEC bill. It's talking about this in a city council meeting Monday. Meanwhile, a local business owner is concerned this will hurt his bottom line.
Larry St. Amand owns three businesses in Cape Coral. But you also you might find him on the side of the road holding a sign, or see him on TV. He's spending his own money to tell residents about a public service tax proposal.
"They always use this thing 'oh the average homeowner' but they haven't done all the math where, 'what's it going to to do the small businessman?'" he said.
He doesn't think the city has done enough to let residents know about it, and feels the tax will pack a punch to the small business owner. "I've already figured its going to cost me between $1,600 and $2,000 a year, extra," he said.
In a sample LCEC bill, at $137 with normal additional fees it would be about $145. The public service tax would be ten percent of that, but minus some fuel charges: it averages to you paying an extra $10.67 for a $145.15.
"We don't enjoy playing the role of a tax collector, and we do believe it will impact our customers when they see their bottom line on their bill," said LCEC spokeswoman Karen Ryan.
Ryan says if the tax passes, the company is preparing for an influx of calls from residents thinking LCEC raised its rates. She wants people to know, that won't be the case.
"We've worked really hard for 5 years to keep our rates low, we haven't raised rates, so we are concerned that some customers will notice an increase on their bill an assume bills have gone up," she said.
The city maintains hundreds of jobs are at stake if it doesn't raise taxes. The city manager also says people will only be charged about $150 dollars extra a year.
The official vote on the matter will happen Monday, April 29th. If approved, you will see the increase starting in October.
For more information about the tax proposal visit the city's website at http://www.capecoral.net/