Traffic plan may cost $300 million

December 9, 2014

Package would include 500 percent increase in impact fees

Looking to accommodate expected residential and retail growth without creating gridlock on city streets, Issaquah’s administration has come up with a $300 million transportation plan that could accommodate up to an additional 8,000 car trips on local streets per day.

But to help pay for all the needed road improvements, administration officials have proposed a 500 percent hike in the traffic impact fees developers pay.

For a single-family unit, developers currently pay $1,700, said David Hoffman, North King County manager for the Master Builders Association. If the proposed increases were adopted, that figure jumps to $8,600.

The impact fees would not cover the entire cost of the plan, which includes $250 million for roadwork and an additional $50 million for bike paths and pedestrian accommodations, city consultant Randy Young said in an interview.

Young said the city would need to fund the remainder at a cost of approximately $165 million for roadwork and roughly $26 million for bike and pedestrian pathways.

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To the Editor

December 3, 2014

State park

If our money goes there, we should get free access

Well, folks, the Issaquah City Council said that no taxpayer funds would be given to Lake Sammamish State Park items. So much for that hokey council promise.

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To the Editor — week of Nov. 26

November 25, 2014

Meals program

Rule change needed public transparency

On Nov. 18, The Issaquah Press carried an article by Tom Corrigan, about a new sign outside the Issaquah Community Hall, prohibiting outdoor eating of meals served in the hall. As a private citizen, I write this letter in support of Washington’s Open Public Meetings Act.

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Council lowers B&O tax increase, raises property taxes, as expected

November 25, 2014

Business leaders spoke up and the Issaquah City Council listened.

In a 5-2 vote, council members approved a 50 percent hike in the city’s business and occupation taxes. The increase was a major part of the overall $168.6 million 2015 budget adopted by the council at its regular meeting Nov. 17.

Initially, Mayor Fred Butler proposed a 150 percent increase in the B&O taxes over a two-year period. At a public hearing Nov. 3, representatives from the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and some of Issaquah’s biggest businesses, such as Darigold and Costco, said that was just too much.

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Issaquah lowers B & O tax increase, raises property taxes, as expected

November 18, 2014

NEW — 11:26 p.m. Nov. 18, 2014

Business leaders spoke up and the Issaquah City Council listened.

In a 5-2 vote, council members approved a 50 percent hike in the city’s business and occupation taxes. The increase was a major part of the overall $168.6 million 2015 budget adopted by the council at its regular meeting last night.

Initially, Mayor Fred Butler proposed a 150 percent increase in the B&O taxes over a two-year period. At a public hearing Nov. 3, representatives from the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and some of Issaquah’s biggest business, such as Darigold and Costco, said that was just too much.

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To the Editor

October 28, 2014

Election

Tana Senn brings family-oriented view to Olympia

I write to you today to whole-heartedly endorse Tana Senn for State Representative for the 41st District.

She embodies the values that are important to me and my family. As a working mom of two school-aged children, Tana understands the needs and stresses placed on many families in our region, and is able to bring a family-oriented view to Olympia.

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Council adopts Costco agreement

October 21, 2014

Move paves way for headquarters expansion

The nation’s second largest retailer is free to expand its headquarters, and it will continue to happen here in Issaquah.

The Issaquah City Council unanimously approved a 30-year development agreement with Costco Oct. 13, giving the company flexibility to add an additional 1.5 million square feet to its international headquarters housed in Pickering Place.

“It’s really a very, very big deal for Issaquah and for Costco,” Issaquah City Councilman Joshua Schaer said at the Oct. 13 meeting. “It ensures that, for years to come, when people around the country and around the world speak of Costco it will be in connection with the words ‘An Issaquah, Washington-based corporation.’”

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Business community raises concerns about new B&O tax

October 21, 2014

As the city of Issaquah considers raising its business and occupation tax for the first time since 2004, local business owners gathered to offer their concerns about the proposal at an Oct. 15 roundtable at Tibbetts Creek Manor.

The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce-hosted event showed business leaders have plenty of questions about the tax increase, including where the extra revenue will be spent.

“I don’t want to pay for fluff,” said Norma Stephens, Curves of Issaquah owner.

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Give input on city’s proposed 2015 budget

October 21, 2014

Residents can offer their input about the city’s proposed 2015 budget at two upcoming public hearings.

The Issaquah City Council will hold a public hearing to consider revenue sources, including a possible increase to property tax revenues, at its Nov. 3 regular meeting beginning at 7 p.m.

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Mayor’s budget proposes increase in B&O taxes

October 14, 2014

Issaquah businesses could be paying more taxes in 2015 as Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler unveiled his proposed budget, calling for an increase to the city’s business and occupation tax rate, at the Oct. 6 Issaquah City Council meeting.

The proposal would increase B&O taxes for manufacturing, wholesale and retail companies from 0.0008 to 0.0015 effective April 1, 2015, and 0.002 effective Jan. 1, 2017.

B&O taxes for printing/publishing, retail services and services/other would go from 0.001 to 0.0012 effective April 1, 2015.

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