Issaquah property values climb, bucking trend

February 15, 2011

2011 tax bills start to arrive in mailboxes

Most Issaquah homeowners should pay about 29 cents more per $1,000 in assessed value on the property tax bills starting to arrive in mailboxes across King County.

Issaquah and county residents started to receive property tax bills in the mail Feb. 14. The county Assessor’s Office released a city and county property tax breakdown late last week.

Inside Issaquah city limits, homeowners pay, on average, $11.13 in property taxes per $1,000 in assessed value. The total amounted to $10.84 last year.

Dollars collected through property taxes help fund the Issaquah School District, King County, and numerous state and regional districts.

The school district receives the largest slice — 44 percent. Issaquah municipal government collects about 20 percent. King County government receives about 18 percent and the Port of Seattle receives 2 percent.

The city has not raised property taxes since 2007. City Council members considered a 1 percent increase last fall, but then backed off after numerous tax measures on the November ballot failed.

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King County mails property tax notices to homeowners soon

February 10, 2011

UPDATED — 9 a.m. Feb. 14, 2011

Most Issaquah homeowners should pay about 29 cents more per $1,000 in assessed value on the property tax bills starting to arrive in mailboxes across King County.

Issaquah and county residents started to receive property tax bills in the mail Monday. The county Assessor’s Office released a property tax breakdown late last week.

Issaquah homeowners pay, on average, $11.13 in property taxes per $1,000 in assessed value. The total amounted to $10.84 last year.

Dollars collected through property taxes help fund the Issaquah School District, King County, and numerous state and regional districts.

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Press Editorial

January 25, 2011

Legislature could make info less accessible

Once again, the state Legislature is messing with the public’s easy access to local government’s basic functions. Senate Bill 5360 and House Bill 1478 will give cities and counties in Washington state the option to place required government notices on their websites instead of publishing in a newspaper of record.

Yes, the move would save money for cities, but at a far greater cost to the public. Instead of having the notices of new ordinances, zoning changes, public hearings, tax rates, road closures and much more come along with your newspaper, you will need to go to each local agency’s website. In Issaquah, that might mean websites for the city, the county, fire districts, water and sewer district, Port of Seattle and the school district.

The Issaquah Press publishes the legal notices for many of those agencies now. And we publish them online at www.issaquahpress.com and at a statewide website for aggregated public notices. We do charge for publishing in the newspaper, but not for the online publications. Once published, we provide notarized affidavits as proof of publication.

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King County raises awareness of human trafficking

January 11, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 11, 2011

King County leaders proclaimed Tuesday as Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Officials estimate human trafficking includes 14,500 to 17,500 people — mostly women and children — in the United States each year.

County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, the Issaquah representative on the board, sponsored the proclamation.

“Modern-day slavery is known as human trafficking, and it takes the form of forced labor and prostitution, debt bondage and forced marriages,” she said in a statement.

King County Prosecutor’s Office and Port of Seattle officials, plus representatives from The Bridge Program and the Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network, or WARN, joined other county leaders Monday to recognize the proclamation.

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City prepares for earthquake aftermath

October 12, 2010

A dry-erase board at the city Emergency Operations Center lists mock local road closures as city employees handle emergency scenarios during the two-day regional earthquake drill. By Greg Farrar

The disaster — a magnitude 6.7 earthquake — struck the region less than 48 hours earlier, during rush hour at 7:54 a.m. on a Tuesday.

The temblor triggered landslides on steep slopes, damaged Interstate 90 through Issaquah, snapped mains and compromised the drinking water supply, and toppled cargo cranes at the Port of Seattle — a critical link to deliver food and fuel to Issaquah and the region.

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Cascade Water Alliance receives eco honor

May 11, 2010

Environmentalists honored Cascade Water Alliance, Puget Sound Energy and local government agencies last week for efforts to preserve a rail corridor through the Eastside.

Cascade Land Conservancy honored the water alliance as a 2010 Cascade Agenda Leadership Award winner. The group shares the award with Redmond, King County, Sound Transit, the Port of Seattle, Puget Sound Energy, and Sound Transit.

Issaquah City Council President John Traeger serves as a member of the water alliance board of directors.

The award celebrates the role of community leaders in linking great communities, a healthy environment and a strong economy. Cascade Land Conservancy recognized the recipients for their effort to purchase the former BNSF Railway corridor for future public use. The line stretches from Snohomish to Renton.

“This was an easy decision for us,” Cascade Land Conservancy CEO Chuck Clarke said in a news release. “It just made sense for us to join with the other public agencies interested in future use of the corridor. Each of us had a good reason to invest our public funds in the corridor, and in the end, the public wins too by keeping the corridor intact.”

Cascade Land Conservancy — the largest land conservation and stewardship organization in the state — announced the award at a May 6 breakfast.

Besides Issaquah, the nonprofit water alliance includes Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Tukwila, the Sammamish Plateau and Skyway water and sewer districts, and the Covington Water District.

Voters will decide fire-protection funding measure

October 27, 2009

Voters will decide fire-protection funding measure

Voters in Klahanie, Preston, Tiger Mountain, May Valley and Carnation — the area covered by Fire Protection District 10 — will decide whether to reauthorize a charge to provide dollars for emergency fire and medical service on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Proposition 1 would lower the district property tax rate from $1.50 to a maximum of $1 per $1,000 of assessed value. No organized opposition to Proposition 1 has materialized.

District officials said a lower property tax rate in conjunction with the charge — based upon building size and use — is a more equitable and stable way to pay for emergency services.

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Watch county, city video voter guides on the Web

October 19, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 19, 2009

As ballots arrive in King County voters’ mailboxes, the county Video Voter’s Guide has returned to help residents guide their decisions before the Nov. 3 election.

Watch the guide on King County TV or on the Web.

The guide enables voters to hear directly from countywide candidates. Advocates for ballot issues are also featured in the guide. Every candidate and issue is allowed to present a two-minute statement.

The guide includes statements from candidates for county executive, assessor, County Council District 9, Port of Seattle Commission and from speakers on countywide ballot measures.

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