Evan Smith: Shoreline Council to consider levy-lift ballot measure

Friday, June 25, 2010

By Evan Smith
ShorelineAreaNews Politics Writer

Shoreline voters may be voting on a property-tax levy lift in the November general election.

The Shoreline City Council in mid-July will consider whether to put the measure on the ballot.

The levy-lid lift would raise property taxes by 20 or 30 cents, per $1,000 in assessed value.

Some Council members say that the City needs the tax increase to close the budget gap the City faces from the effects of inflation and the 1 percent cap on annual property-tax increases.

Councilman Chris Eggen told me Monday that while the City has been limited to 1 percent annual increases in property-tax revenue, costs have gone up 4 percent per year.

Council members stress that no one can yet speak for the Council, which hasn't yet taken an official position on issues related to the levy.

Eggen said that he would weigh four factors in deciding how to vote: 
1) the effect of not closing the budget gap, including probable cuts to grants to neighborhood and community groups such as the Museum and Arts Council, to parks, to human services and to discretionary spending such as school-resource officers; 

2) the effect of a tax increase on Shoreline businesses ”It would be foolish to increase property taxes if we decrease business activity and thus further decrease sales taxes,” he said; 

3) the effect on low-income homeowners, particularly retired people on fixed incomes; and 

4) whether there will be either a county sales- or county property-tax increase on the November ballot.


Anonymous,  June 25, 2010 at 8:40 AM  

On a house worth $400,000 this (.30 cents per $1000) would cost the homeowner an additional $120 per year.

Based on a presentation I saw given by the city regarding the budget, it would eliminate the need to make any cuts.

The city has done a lot of belt tightening since the levy-lid went into place.

And, I'm happy to be given the opportunity to protect the "things" in Shoreline that I feel make it a different and wonderful community.

I'm glad the city has to ask me for more of my money. I'm glad they have to justify what they want to use it for.

But, they have me convinced and I will be voting for this increase if it is on the ballot.

Anonymous,  June 28, 2010 at 9:53 AM  

This makes much more sense than what Lake Forest Park is asking for: a first year fixed raise, plus five more years of undefined increases tied to the CPI.

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