Letter: Sales tax or not, city’s financial plan needs an update

Oct 04, 2017

As a current member of Mukilteo’s Long Range Finance Committee, we have been examining the future financial fitness of our city. Our LRF Plan hasn’t been updated since 2014, and we must now fix the sustainability plan for our city’s growth and maintenance.

One of the things that has been part of that discussion is the community’s vote on the increased sales tax from 1 percent to 1.1 percent. If this proposed tax is voted down, the Transportation Benefit District can adopt car tab fees without voter approval, unlike the sales tax increase that requires your approval.

Additional revenue options currently include water and sewer utility franchise fees and a 1 percent property tax increase – all of which would impact us significantly and specifically as residents of Mukilteo.

It is obvious that our current expenditures will not be sustained by our current revenues. It’s said that the burden is least when it is shared by the most, and much of our sales tax revenue comes from visitors.

However, this doesn’t mean that we must raise taxes; this means that we should also have a conversation around what levels of service the community might be willing to adjust to save money.

There are always options to consider. Cost savings in professional services – of which the 2017 budget spent 18 percent, or $2.4 million, of our general fund – would prove indispensable.

We have areas we can improve as a city, and it’s important more so than ever for residents to echo their desires to their elected officials.

 

Sarah Kneller
City Council Candidate, Position 3
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