Stuart flip-flops on tax vote: Favored higher levy before voting no

By Scott Hamilton

Guest Contributor

In a maneuver reminiscent of Sen. John Kerry’s infamous “I was for it before I voted against it” declaration in the 2004 presidential election, Sammamish Council Member Pam Stuart declared she would support taking the 1% property tax increase allowed by law.

Council Member Pam Stuart

Then she voted against it when the vote was called.

She was the deciding vote in causing the motion to fail.

The vote came after the council on Nov. 19 added $270,000 to the city’s expenditures for the next year that hadn’t been budgeted.

This included $120,100 for the Technology Fund and $150,000 for a grant in the Health and Human Services Commission dedicated for youth mental health.

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New taxes, 42nd St barricade removal, road improvements recommended

Feb. 19, 2019: The Sammamish city manager is laying the groundwork to the city council to impose the first utility tax of up to 3%, to begin imposing annual 1% property tax increases and to undertake pinpoint traffic improvements—including the controversial removal of the 42nd St. barricade in Timberline.

These proposals are in the packet for tonight’s city council meeting, beginning at PDF page 65.

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King County nears adoption of “unlawful,” “secret” tax

  • Fees on utilities will be passed on to consumers
  • Affects only those in unincorporated King County
  • Adds up to $300 per year to utility bills.
  • County Council, staff action done “below the radar.”
  • Final public hearing Dec. 7, followed by vote to adopt.
  • Kathy Lambert, Council representative including Sammamish, Issaquah, co-sponsored.

Kathy Lambert, co-sponsor of a bill labeled “unlawful” that would impose a new tax on unincorporated King County households. Photo via Google images.

The King County Council is poised to adopt an ordinance intended to “coerce” utility companies and water and sewer districts into franchise fees to use street rights-of-way in order to raise millions of dollars in fees for the County’s general fund.

The problem—and there are many—is that the ordinance and use of funds is unlawful under state statutes, says a coalition of water districts that issued a press release today.

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Sammamish’s Tax Day of Reckoning has arrived

The Tax Day of Reckoning for Sammamish has arrived.

The City Council tonight may decide whether to adopt a 1% property tax hike, something Councils have avoided for the past eight years.

It could even decide to recapture the eight years of deferrals, or an 8% increase in property taxes, but this is unlikely.

Council Member Don Gerend also suggested the possibility of a utility tax during a study session last night.

Council Member Kathy Huckabay suggested a Transportation Benefit District tax dedicated only to road projects.

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Council takes up 2018 budget tonight–“crossover point” (deficit spending) appears to arrive years early

The long-awaited “crossover point” when deficit spending occurs for the Sammamish city budget—in recent years projected to be early next decade—may be here now.

The City Council takes up the budget tonight and a comparison of revised figures by Council Candidate Mark Baughman shows proposed expenditures exceed projected revenues by $4m.

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