Contact councilmembers for information
I was discouraged at the misunderstandings in two letters to the editor last week. These misunderstandings would have been cleared up if the writers had contacted either me or any other councilmember.
The first letter suggested that because we had surpluses in the budget the city give that money back to the taxpayers. The word "surplus" was unfortunately used in a newspaper article and is an incorrect term for the moneys that we have in reserve to do road and park projects. One look at our six-year Capital Improvements Program (CIP) shows this money is coming back in the form of safer streets and more parks.
That letter also pointed out correctly that due to increases in the county's tax assessment, a typical tax increase might be $250-$300 for a homeowner. It must be noted that of that amount, only 10%--or about $25-$30--goes for the city; the rest goes for Northshore Schools, state schools, the fire district, and several other taxing jurisdictions. The small increase to the city every two years is what allows us as a city to keep our tax rate constant and below that of the corresponding county tax.
The second letter suggested that the TRF project was made possible only by the City Council rezoning the properties involved. This is not the case. The commercial zoning on all those properties is the same as it has been since the city became incorporated. In fact, it is the same zoning that King County had in the Northshore plan when the city incorporated, and before that, it was zoned industrial!
I was able to contact one letter writer and I appreciate the conversation we had regarding taxes. I was unable to contact the other.
The point of all this is: I am asking anyone who has a question or concern regarding taxes or zoning or anything else to call me (485-1652) or anyone on the council; let's talk! Coming to the council meetings and talking directly to us is another option.
Other opportunities would have been the recent yearly public hearing on tax sources or any of the meetings or hearings that occurred as TRF was making its applications.
Talking together directly is the best way we can work together for a better city.
Don Brocha, Deputy Mayor, Woodinville