Public hearings Tuesday on city budget, proposed property tax increase

Discussion of repairs to the Edmonds Fishing Pier is on the Edmonds City Council agenda Tuesday night.  (Photo by David Carlos)
Discussion of repairs to the Edmonds Fishing Pier is on the Edmonds City Council agenda Tuesday night. (Photo by David Carlos)

Have an opinion on the proposed 2016 City of Edmonds budget, or whether the city should raise property taxes by 1 percent. Express it during this Tuesday’s Edmonds City Council meeting, when public hearings will be held on both items. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Public Safety Complex, 250 5th Ave. N.

The council will also listen to an Edmonds Sister City Commission presentation on the 2015 student exchange to Hekinan, Japan.

Other items on the council agenda include a discussion of the following:

  • Amendment to Professional Services Agreement with Zachor & Thomas, Inc., P.S. for prosecuting attorney services.
  • An interlocal agreement with the Edmonds School District regarding emergency access keys used by the Edmonds Police Department.
  • An addendum to renew the city’s agreement with Yakima County to house jail inmates for the upcoming year.
  • An ordinance amending the city’s code to allow officers from the Edmonds Police Department to respond to complaints and take enforcement action if/when necessary regarding shellfish harvesting on the Edmonds waterfront and fishing pier.
  • The future of the Citizens Economic Development Commission.
  • The city’s draft 2016 Legislative Agenda (this is listed as a potential action item).
  • Bid authorization for the fishing pier rehabilitation project.
  • Discussion on the proposed 2016-2021 Capital Facilities Plan/Capital Improvement Program.
    You can see the complete agenda here.


  1. If property values are rising doesn’t that mean more taxes raised? Can someone please explain why the amount of money I pay in taxes has gone up and up. But, it’s never enough.


    • You’re remembering only the increases and not the decreases. Property taxes peaked in 2009, but they dropped in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Only about 20% of total property taxes go to the City of Edmonds. Of that portion about 25% of it is the voter-approved EMS levy which goes up and down with property values. The remaining 75% can only be increased by a maximum of 1%.

      Near 60% of total property taxes go to the school district; those taxes have to also be approved by voters – just like the EMS levy.


  2. The rise in property values should replenish the City coffers. It will be interesting to see if anyone on Council acknowledges that simple fact and votes not to automatically also increase the property taxes by that one percent of the now higher property values. Recall also that our water, sewer and storm water rates were all raised by a substantial amount now for , if I recall three years now. And that has been quite a revenue stream for the City. Meanwhile any rise requiring voter approval ( levies) have been resoundly defeated.


    • Property taxes did go up from 2014 to 2015. My increase, along with others in my neighborhood, was over 10% higher in 2015. Only 12% of the increase came from Edmonds city taxes increasing (which was a result of a 1% increase in the levy rate passed by the council in 2014). Whereas 68% of the increase came from the school levy (passed by the voters).

      On a related subject, I think there is a misunderstanding of the impact of property values on the amount of property taxes one pays. If all property values in a taxing district go up (or down) by the same percent, an individual’s property taxes won’t change. The county would still apportion to each property owner the same share of the total taxes due as they did previously. Then, if none of the levy rates changed (rarely happens) the owner would pay the same taxes as the previous year despite the change in property value. That being said, property values going up will help city revenues in other ways, just not from property taxes


  3. The city’s share of property taxes is still below what it was in 2009.

    The big increase in 2015 over 2014 is a result of voter-approved school taxes.


  4. The city, state and Federal Gov. are always finding new ways to get “our” money. Taxes are just going to go up, up up! Never is there any accountability, the government just grows and as it grows and does more for the “people” it will have more voters to keep them in office.
    One day this will all end, just look at Greece. It would be nice if our Government was there to serve & protect us. Now, they do everything for us and of course “they know what is best for us”




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