BOTHELL — Snohomish County residents in Bothell’s growth area will have the opportunity to vote on a new annexation proposal on April 17, 2012. In response to the request of citizens, Bothell City Council last week passed a resolution placing annexation on the ballot. This new plan for the proposed North East and West of Bothell Annexation (NEWBA) addresses key community concerns raised during last fall’s vote.
“We have heard from citizens who live in unincorporated Snohomish County that there is a continued desire to join Bothell and benefit from the lower taxes and better services the city has to offer,” said Bothell Mayor Mark Lamb. “We also heard that there were some concerns with the original annexation proposal last fall so we listened to the citizens and made improvements.”
Key issues addressed in the new annexation proposal include:
• Taxes: Annexation will reduce taxes for NEWBA residents because two taxes they currently pay – fire district taxes and county road district taxes – would be replaced by a lower city tax which pays for high quality city services. Bothell does collect utility taxes, which the county does not yet have the authority to do, but for the average household in Bothell’s growth area, the combination of property and utility taxes would still be lower in the city than under Snohomish County jurisdiction.
• Fire and emergency medical services: The city has committed to bolster services by staffing Station 22, on Damson Road, with firefighter/paramedics. This is in addition to the existing firefighter and paramedic services provided by the acclaimed King County Medic One system. The City has also committed to keeping Fire Station 22 open for at least five years, as compared to Snohomish County Fire District 1’s previous plans to close the station.
In addition to the above, citizens in favor of annexation also cited local control as an important reason for joining Bothell. Under Snohomish County jurisdiction, NEWBA residents’ tax dollars can be spent anywhere in the county and decisions are made in Everett. Annexation to the City of Bothell would provide NEWBA residents with high-quality, dedicated city services. Joining Bothell means EWBA residents have control over their tax dollars and can decide what kind of community they want to live in.
“I know that all of us on Bothell City Council believe that government works best when it is closest to the people and we are excited to welcome annexation area citizens into Bothell,” said Mayor Lamb. “I believe that the new annexation proposal addresses legitimate concerns that were raised and will be embraced by these residents.”
If approved by voters, the annexation would take effect on December 31, 2012. For more information about what annexation means for NEWBA residents, visit www.ImagineBothell.com.