City may ask voters to help fund $308 million in traffic solutions

June 17, 2015

Issaquah voters could be asked to approve funding for transportation projects throughout the city as early as February 2016.

During an eight-hour retreat held June 6, the Issaquah City Council came up with a final list of eight goals, including one dubbed, “Transportation Funding Strategy.”

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Issaquah teachers join walkout to protest state’s education funding

May 27, 2015

About 80 percent of the approximately 1,100 teachers in the Issaquah School District were part of last week’s one-day walkout May 19, said Doug Jones, president of the Issaquah Education Association, the local teacher’s union.

By Greg Farrar Issaquah School District teachers, along with the support of students and their parents, picketed by the hundreds at two locations in downtown Issaquah May 19 to pressure state legislators to obey the state constitution’s mandate to fully fund K-12 public education.

By Greg Farrar
Issaquah School District teachers, along with the support of students and their parents, picketed by the hundreds at two locations in downtown Issaquah May 19 to pressure state legislators to obey the state constitution’s mandate to fully fund K-12 public education.

In most cases with parents and students joining them, teachers lined the streets in eight locations, calling for state legislators to fully fund education, to meet the demands of the state Supreme Court McCleary decision, which makes paying for basic education the fundamental job for the state.

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Klahanie-area voters decide to go with Sammamish

May 20, 2015

Now that the vote overwhelmingly in favor of the annexation of Klahanie and some surrounding neighborhoods has been finalized, the next step is Sammamish City Council action to formally request the annexation.

According to final numbers from King County elections, the annexation question passed 2,467 to 400, or 86 percent to 13.9 percent in the April 28 election.

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Editorial — Vote yes to upgrade emergency radio system

April 21, 2015

The current system of emergency radio communication for King County’s police, fire and emergency services is nearly 20 years old and unfit for the size of our area. It’s time for an upgrade, and Proposition 1 provides the funds needed.

Vote yes on Proposition 1 because there is universal agreement, even by opponents of Proposition 1, that the need for a better, newer regional emergency radio network is real.

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Car tab fees, sales taxes could help pay for roadwork

December 16, 2014

Funding was a big part of the discussion as the Issaquah City Council took up the roughly $304 million development impact plan proposed by the administration.

While developers would cover some of the cost by way of increased impact fees, the city could be on the hook for approximately $191 million. City consultant Randy Young said there are five means by which Issaquah could raise the needed dollars:

  • a local $50 car tab fee,
  • business license fees based on the number of employees,
  • a voter-approved road levy,
  • bond sales paid for through increased local property taxes,
  • a local sales tax of one-tenth of 1 percent.

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Editorial — Traffic plan is needed, but will it bring results?

December 16, 2014

City officials have recommended a plan to do something about traffic in Issaquah, one that could accommodate up to an additional 8,000 car trips on local streets per day.

That’s the good news.

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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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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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Council sends $10 million park bond to voters for November decision

July 1, 2013

NEW — 10:30 p.m. July 1, 2013

Almost 50 people turned up at the Issaquah City Council’s regular July 1 meeting to witness the consideration of the long-deliberated park bond, which passed with a 6-1 vote.

“You can see we’ve gone through quite a process getting to tonight’s hopeful vote,” Councilwoman Eileen Barber said. As chairwoman of the Services & Safety Committee, she fostered the bill through a long fact-finding process. “The idea to delay this any longer is not something I would like to see happen.”

The decision follows the Park Board recommendations to the City Council regarding how a $10 million park bond, including $5 million for “life support” for the Julius Boehm Pool, should be spent.

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