Audit: Tacoma may have overbilled city utilities

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- A state audit has found the city of Tacoma potentially overbilled city utilities by more than $1 million. That's money auditors say the city charged utility ratepayers that probably should have been shouldered by city taxpayers.

The News Tribune (http://is.gd/RJZOcn ) reports the audit appears to confirm contentions by Tacoma Public Utility officials that the city has been overcharging them for years to balance the city's general fund budget.

The law bars the city from shifting the costs of general government to utility ratepayers, many of whom live outside Tacoma and don't use other city services.

In a Nov. 15 letter to State Auditor Brian Sonntag, Tacoma's interim City Manager Rey Arellano disputes some of the audit's key findings and says he believes the utility's bills were accurate.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com