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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Funding fire service per call could cost Issaquah

January 15, 2013

Issaquah could contribute more to Eastside Fire & Rescue if the regional agency changes to a funding model based on the amount of calls each member produces.

Meanwhile, Sammamish could trim fire service costs by $156,000 and $314,000 per year if EFR partners — Issaquah, North Bend, Sammamish, and fire districts 10 and 38 — agree on changing the funding model.

For Issaquah and North Bend, the change could substantially increase the amount the partners pay to EFR in the name of maintaining the agency’s current incarnation beyond 2014.

A committee of elected officials and staff members from each partner met last month to discuss the implications of using call load as a factor in determining how much to charge.

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Landowners receive fire benefit charge notices

January 15, 2013

Landowners in Fire District 10 — Klahanie, May Valley, Mirrormont and Preston in the Issaquah area — recently received fire benefit charge notices.

The notice includes a letter of explanation and per-parcel benefit charge information. The notice is not a bill, and the recipient is not required to act, unless he or she believes some information is erroneous.

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King County milestones shape 2012

January 1, 2013

King County Executive Dow Constantine recently reflected on the top accomplishments of 2012, including same-sex marriage legalization and improvements in county agencies.

The accomplishments include the merger of once-incompatible business systems, a decision to place future schools in urban areas, procurement reforms, revitalization of Seattle’s Pioneer Square and a regional animal services contract.

Voters approved a property tax levy for a juvenile criminal justice facility. The county also oversaw a shift in the permitting office from Renton to Snoqualmie, delivered honors for small business owners, enacted a deal to build a sports-and-entertainment arena in Seattle, and acquired a rail corridor for Eastside rails and trails.

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Issaquah Police Department to add patrol officer

December 11, 2012

Expect to see more police patrolling city streets next summer, after the City Council agreed to include dollars in the 2013 municipal budget for the Issaquah Police Department to hire another officer.

The council agreed in the $42 million general fund budget to hire another police officer and a part-time records staffer for the police department. The agency expects to fill both positions after July 1.

The general fund encompasses the dollars used to fund police and fire services, community development and planning, parks and recreation, and municipal government. The police department is the largest expense in the general fund — encompassing more than $8 million — followed by parks and recreation.

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