Wednesday, December 3, 2008 City of Seattle still in pursuit of NBA

The Washington State Task force Local Financing Options for King County did meet on Monday to accept proposals for capital investments in King County, paid for primarily by an existing sales tax on hotels and motels. Among the proposals was a presentation from the City of Seattle's Deputy Mayor, Tim Ceis.

The city's proposal was set in a presentation on the Seattle Center Master Plan, describing Key Arena as a part of the bigger site efforts.
The city's 75 million dollar proposal was presented right after the Washington State Convention and Trade Center proposed, a 766 million dollar expansion of its facility, dwarfing the city's request. The city and the convention center have agreed that there should be enough revenue to build both projects. These two projects are looking at a revenue stream that is drawn within Seattle.

The other groups requesting funds are looking at a slightly different fund that are drawn in King County. Those two revenue sources are separate, and are viewed as separate by the state committee members. The committee will produce one of two things within the next few weeks; a recommendation of which projects to move forward on if the committee is able to reach consensus, or a report to the legislature on all of the different options if consensus can not be reached within the committee.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune posted some of his audio he used for his newspaper report. It is on his blog titled, City of Seattle still in pursuit of NBA. The deputy mayor explains in the audio how he views the presentation, and one of the co-chairs of the state task force, Ross Hunter, gives his view and preference that local governments should have more control of how locally derived taxes are allocated. That's a good thing.

The presentation that was the focus of the local media was the request from the University of Washington for 150 million dollars to match 150 million in private contributions to remodel the football stadium. The stadium is 93 years young. That proposal brought harsh criticisms from Washington State University alumni. In a way this is good for the Key Arena proposal, it keeps the media busy with the dog and cat fight.

For all of these desires for funding the biggest risk is the state raiding the fund and using it for general fund obligations, even though they passed a law 5 months ago to keep that very thing from happening.

Here are the links to the city's presentation, click the meeting date to go to the state page for the rest of the agenda links:

Meeting Material
December 1, 2008
4 Culture Presentation - Jim Kelly, Executive Director 4 Culture and Friends
University of Washington 1 - Scott Woodward, UW Athletic Director and Ron Crockett, Major Gifts Chair
University of Washington 2 - Scott Woodward, UW Athletic Director and Ron Crockett, Major Gifts Chair
Youth Athletic Facilities - Kaleen Cottingham, Director, Recreation and Conservation Office
Washington State Convention Center - Frank Finneran, Chair, Board of Directors, Washington State Convention and Trade Center
Seattle Center 1 - Tim Ceis, Deputy Mayor, City of Seattle
Seattle Center 2 - Tim Ceis, Deputy Mayor, City of Seattle

Have a great day,
Mr Baker
Sent from my iPhone