City’s budget deficit cuts and tax increases explained

By Josh Amato 
Guest contributor 

Analysis 

The City of Sammamish budget is in a structural deficit — the amount of money coming into the General Fund (operations) is less than the expenses going out. 

With this year’s  original spending proposal, the biennial budget was in a $16.6m deficit. The deficit could  be fixed by raising taxes, cutting expenses, using Fund Balance (reserves), or a mix of all three. The Council has known this day would come for a long time – as far back as 2016. But it seems no matter who won the last election, nearly every candidate was opposed to increasing revenue. There was no candidate in 2019 willing to say new taxes would be necessary, except one: Mark Baughman in 2017. 

“At the Candidates Forum, the other seven candidates stated their firm opposition to new taxes and then turned around to support bonds to pay for roads,” Sammamish Comment reported at the time. “When it came Baughman’s turn, he was the only candidate to declare that bonds may require a tax hike to pay for them. It’s a truth that needs telling, and Baughman told the truth.”

Baughman was defeated by Jason Ritchie  

So here we are.

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