City of Edmonds
Proposition No. 1
Levy to Help Maintain Current Levels of Service in Public Safety, Parks, and Other City Services
The Edmonds City Council has passed Ordinance No. 3848 to place before the voters property taxes to help maintain current levels of service in public safety, parks, and other city services.
To help maintain service levels in public safety, parks, and other city services, this proposition would authorize an increase in the regular property tax rate for collection in 2012 of 0.17256368 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, for a total regular property tax rate (if only this proposition passes) of 1.82823515 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The 2012 levy amount would become the basis upon which levy increases would be computed for 2013 and 2014.
Should this proposition be approved?
Without voter approval, the City of Edmonds can increase the amount of regular property taxes it collects by only 1% (approximately) each year. This limit is called the “levy lid.” Under this limit, in 2012, Edmonds can collect regular property taxes at a rate of approximately $1.66 per $1,000 of assessed valuation without voter approval.
With voter approval, this proposition would authorize the City of Edmonds to collect approximately $1,000,000 over the levy lid for each of three years (2012-2014). This additional revenue would be used to help maintain current levels of service in public safety, parks, and other city services. If only this proposition passes (Propositions 2 and 3 would increase the levy lid for other purposes), the City of Edmonds will be allowed to increase the regular property tax rate in 2012 by approximately 17 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. For example, this proposition would increase the regular property tax bill on a $375,000 home by approximately $65 in 2012.
For regular property taxes collected after 2014, the maximum tax levy would be determined as if this proposition had not been approved.
Edmonds is a special community and it is up to us, the people, to support and protect the things that make Edmonds a wonderful place to live. This levy will support our police and firefighters, keep our parks safe and clean, and support the important day-to-day operations of city government.
Over the last decade, Edmonds has been a leader in driving economic development and improving government efficiency. The city has reduced its budget through staff reductions, good planning, and smart partnerships. Despite having more people to serve, we have fewer police staff than we did 10 years ago and we saved millions in Fire service costs by partnering with Fire District 1. Edmonds has fewer employees per-capita than any comparable city, yet still delivers services of unparalleled quality.
Despite these efforts, revenues cannot keep up with the pace of inflation. This limited three year, $1,000,000 Levy will cost the average homeowner $4.90 a month ($375,000 average home value).
Without a levy we will see cuts in these vital city services; services that support our quality of life.
It is difficult in tough economic times to voluntarily increase our property taxes. But we have to ask ourselves: What kind of city do we want? What value do we put on safety and parks? What is our responsibility in supporting a vibrant, safe, and viable city with a strong sense of community?
We urge you to vote for the Edmonds City Services Levy and support Edmonds.
Vote “Yes” on Proposition 1.
Pro committee members:
Dave Page, Strom Peterson, Kelly Schwarting
This levy is bad policy. It doesn’t solve the short-term financial problems at the City. Nor does it address long-term structural problems. Moreover, if this passes, the City Council will still be forced to consider layoffs as early as 2012.
Here are the facts.
1. This doesn’t solve the short-term problem. Current projections show we need $1.75 million in revenue per year just to maintain basic city services over the next 5 years. This levy is only $1 million over three years. That means layoffs will still be needed in the years ahead.
2. This doesn’t solve the long-term problem. The City’s economic forecast shows revenues growing at an average rate of 1.3% over the next four years. It shows expenditures growing between 2.3 and 3.2% annually over the same period. This is a broken model. As long as your expenditures grow at a larger percentage than your revenues, the shortfall will continue to grow over time.
3. As worded, this levy does nothing to shore up public safety funding. In the last 3 years alone, the City has cut 2 uniformed police officers, the crime prevention unit, the school resource officer, and the DARE program. If this levy passes, none of those cuts are restored. In fact, more will be on the horizon.
Council members Wilson, Plunkett, and Petso all oppose this levy – a diverse base of opposition that demonstrates the depth of concern on the matter.
Please oppose this levy. Tell the City Council they must do better.
Con committee members:
Harry Gatjens, DJ Wilson
This levy will stop immediate cuts to parks, police, and essential city services. This measure gives us time to promote economic development and continue to identify efficiencies without sacrificing our community identity. This is the responsible way to address long-term financial problems.
We can’t restore cuts already made but we can continue to keep our parks open and streets safe. Majority consensus was forged for this levy to prevent more drastic measures in 2012/13.
Proponents cite the fire and police departments as their reason to approve this measure. In fact, this levy is not targeted to those departments. These dollars are completely unrestricted.
This levy simply fails to solve either short run or long run problems. It provides no accountability to voters. Like the $60 car tab fee last year, this is an ill-thought out levy that should be turned down.
Please vote no on this levy.