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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City Council candidates vow no tax hike but endorse new spending anyway

All eight candidates for Sammamish City Council vowed last night that they would not raise taxes, but nonetheless most of them endorsed a host of new spending programs.

A few expressed fiscal caution about new programs and only one called out endorsement of new debt bonds for road infrastructures as “not free.”

This was perhaps the highlight of the only forum for all eight Council candidates for the Nov. 7 election. Eight people are running for four positions. Ballots are mailed to voters Oct. 18.

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More study about new taxes or budget, service cuts for Sammamish

The day before the State Legislature began to reveal a big property tax hike is coming for education, Sammamish City Council members met with staff in a retreat to examine City finances.

The Council met with staff Thursday afternoon and evening. The State began releasing information about its new budget, with tax hikes, on Friday.

Council Member Tom Odell, looking at the 2017 Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) that identifies nearly $90m in spending through 2023 and up to $165m in future years, inclusive of the $90m, and declared officials need to examine all potential revenue sources to pay for these projects.

Translated, this means potential new taxes.

At the same time, Council Member Tom Hornish remains unconvinced that budget cuts aren’t impossible and if these are deep enough, funding the road projects could come out of operations and current revenues.

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Community Center already over budget: first estimate

The Sammamish Community Center is already $2 million over budget, according to the first estimate to come into the City.

Voters approved a $30 million project in an advisory vote last November.

The Sammamish Review revealed the overage in its article reporting that Don Gerend will seek another term. The reference is short and it’s buried but it’s there.