County Council asks for opinions about proposed tax increase
May 16, 2010
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 8 a.m. May 16, 2010
King County Council members want residents’ input about a proposed sales tax hike.
County Executive Dow Constantine proposed increasing the sales tax to two-tenths of a percent in order to stem future cuts to public safety, public health services and the county court system.
The council will hold a public hearing on the measure at 1:30 p.m. Monday in the 10th-floor Council Chambers at the King County Courthouse, 516 Third Ave., Seattle. The hearing will be carried live on King County TV, Comcast and Broadstripe Cable channel 22. Watch the hearing live online here.
The proposal aims to raise the tax on retail purchases to 9.7 cents for $1 spent. For restaurant and bar purchases, the county proposed 10.2 cents per dollar.
The measure requires voter approval. Officials proposed including the measure on the August ballot. Measures must be placed on the ballot by May 25.
But the future of the proposal remains uncertain. The measure failed to clear the council Budget and Fiscal Management Committee last week.
Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, a committee member and the Issaquah representative, has not indicated how she might vote when the measure reaches the full council.
The measure has support from Sheriff Sue Rahr and county Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.
Officials said the measure could generate about $47 million next year. State law requires $30 million generated by the tax increase to be allocated to Issaquah and the 38 other King County cities. Municipalities would receive the money based on population.