December 8, 2008
Issaquah taxpayers should be very pleased with the work of their City Council on the 2009 budget — for a couple of reasons. The council chose not to raise property taxes the 1 percent allowed by law.
While it doesn’t add up to very much money for the city in 2009, that 1-percent increase compounds itself year after year, creating a good chunk of change over time. In spite of encouragement from the administration to pass the increase, the council did the right thing and skipped the increase this year.
Just as important, the City Council took it upon itself to enter the new year with cuts to the budget, even when early revenue projections said it didn’t need to. Looking around at other government agencies and decreased local sales tax returns in the third quarter, council members chose the conservative road. Most of the savings comes from unfilled staff vacancies, delayed capital projects and a street improvement project — costs that will eventually need to be funded. But 2-percent budget cuts add up to $2.2 million savings in 2009.
Finding places to trim now also means the council will have done its homework if revenues continue to fall and more paring is needed. No one will be surprised if it comes to that.