Finance* - 01/19/10 1:30 pm
House Hearing Rm C
John L. O'Brien Building
REVISED 1/14/2010 3:16 PM
HB 2650 - Providing local flexibility with existing revenues during severe economic downturns.
HB 2749 - Concerning local government taxation.
HB 2773 - Concerning local excise tax authorities for counties and cities.
Committee Meeting Documents
Note: Documents are not available online until the meeting has begun.
HB 2650 allows cities and counties that collect a tax for new infrastructure for things like parks, libraries, police and fire training facilities, trails, etc., to also allow that money to be used for maintenence of capital facilities.
HB 2749 removes "nonsupplant" language from effected taxes. This allows a city like Spokane, or Seattle, to take a city budget item off thier general fund capital maintenence budget and supplant the state authorized tax sources to pay for this things.
HB 2773 "A county legislative authority may authorize, fix, and impose a sales and use tax until December 31, 2014. To retain or impose the tax after December 31, 2014, the county must submit an authorizing proposition to the county voters at a primary or general election and a majority of persons voting must approve the continuation or imposition of the sales and use tax."
For the followers of SB 6116 these other bills could mean a few things, conflicting things.
You could view this as supporting, and allowing, the City of Seattle, and King County, the ability to solve some of their general fund shortages by redirecting some of these taxes. That is true, to a point. The first two are aimed at non-core government functions.
In a way the first two bills isolate these "wants" from the "must do's". Still, those wants have an impact on may, many, lives.
The last bill is short term funding that has an end in 2014, and requires a public vote of simple majority to extend the tax. SB6116 does this for King County, and so maybe King County does not need SB 6116. On the other hand, try passing SB 6116 for King County and tell the 38 counties they can not do the same.
This could take the urgency out of passing SB 6116, or it could be a segue to cleaning up the laundry list of wants in that bill.
No matter, no other county, or city, can say something special is being given to Seattle and King County, and that may help. Every municipality is struggling right now. Local control over how and what to do about it is a useful context to have right now.
Remember, many hands make light work.