The Klahanie Potential Annexation Area dodged the bullet from Issaquah, it turns out, as the city reveals its budget proposal.
One of the points the city promoted when seeking an affirmative vote from the PAA to annex to Issaquah was lower taxes.
The 2015 budget, just released, proposes raising property taxes 1% and nearly doubling most Business & Occupation taxes immediately and marginally in the following year.
Sammamish, which is now pursuing annexation of the PAA, hasn’t raised property taxes since incorporation in 1999 and it doesn’t have a B&O tax.
Issaquah needs to raise taxes because it’s essentially broke. The new budget projects an $8m surplus, which is really “nothing” for a government and city the size of Issaquah. There are little or no reserves for replacing aging water and sewer infrastructure, for example, or for doing many of the things the Klahanie PAA needs in terms of road improvements, maintenance and park upgrades. Sammamish, on the other hand, has a large cash balance and untapped bonding power of more than $400m, should it choose to use it.
Klahanie PAA voters were wise to reject annexation to Issaquah.
The gift that keeps on giving
Remember the City of Issaquah’s cybersquatting on the website domains of the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District? I wrote several columns about this in September and October last year, beginning with this one. The Issaquah Press and Issaquah Reporter then named this event as the Top Story of 2013 in their January 2014 year-end recaps (just before the Klahanie PAA vote to annex to Issaquah, as it turned out).
On Oct. 6 this year, the Issaquah Press won first place in a national contest judged by the Arizona Newspaper Assn., which reviewed more than 2,300 entries for editorials.
The winner was The Press’ editorial condemning the city for the cybersquatting. Here’s the link to the story. Here’s the link to the editorial, which also ran in the sister paper, The Sammamish Review.
This bonehead move by Issaquah continues to haunt the government. Nobody was held accountable, and no elected official condemned the action until the mayoral campaign was well underway. This speaks volumes.
This is another reason the Klahanie PAA dodged a bullet.