Sammamish residents overwhelmingly like living here, say it’s a good place to raise children and provides good customer service.
But only 46% believe the City is going in the “right direction,” only 58% have confidence in the City government, just 55% believe the City government is acting in the best interests of the City and 65% say that City is being honest.
These mixed results come from a periodic survey Sammamish does, this one from the National Research Center in Boulder (CO) and ICMA in Washington (DC). The survey was conducted last year and released in March.
Poor on natural space protection
Only 47% of the statistically valid survey respondents say Sammamish is doing a good job at natural area preservation. Not surprising, given the recent burst of development, just 27% liked what Sammamish is doing about land use, planning and zoning.
Also unsurprising: only 26% thought there is enough bus service for the City. It should be noted that Sammamish has no control over bus service—it’s provided by King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit, and the City Council has been pounding both agencies for more service.
Sixty percent of those surveyed gave Sammamish good marks for Value of Services for Taxes Paid. This may, at first glance, seem low, but it’s similar to the national benchmark. For contrast, only 39% of Sammamish residents are satisfied with services provided by the federal government (also similar to the national benchmark).
Cautious support for new taxes
Sammamish is about to undertake a public process over its finances, with an eye toward prospectively raising taxes to fund road improvements and to purchase land for preservation as open space.
Twenty-three percent of those surveyed strongly support new taxes for roads and 41% “somewhat” support new taxes. Seventeen percent strongly oppose and 19% somewhat oppose.
A tax hike for new roads in Issaquah failed voter approval, so Sammamish will have to carefully craft any package sent to voters for approval. However, unlike Issaquah, which had no more bonding capacity without voter approval, Sammamish—being virtually debt free—can issue bonds without voter approval if the City Council has the political will to do so.
Preserving open space had much stronger support for a tax hike. Fifty-four percent strongly support and 32% somewhat support new taxes. Only 14% express opposition.
Pingback: Seatax fatigue may affect Sammamish tax need | Sammamish Comment