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City News / Press Releases

Posted on: October 7, 2020

Special City Council Meeting Planned: Resolution Proposed to Keep Planned Sales Tax Increase Local

Special Meeting Notice

On Tuesday October 13th, the King County Council is expected to approve a resolution enacting a one-tenth of one percent sales tax increase targeted for county-determined affordable housing projects. 

In order to ensure the money raised by this increase is used within their own communities, King County cities, including North Bend, have the option to instead adopt this sales tax increase locally - IF they act before the county does. 

Several Eastside cities - including Covington, Issaquah, and Snoqualmie - have already acted. North Bend has called a special City Council Meeting for Monday, October 12th to consider doing the same. 

In response to this impending King County Council action, the North Bend City Council will hold the October 12th [virtual] special meeting at 7PM and consider adopting a similar resolution. If approved, it will ensure the funds raised by this tax increase stay in our community. Public Comment will be allowed. 

If the City of North Bend does not adopt this small sales tax increase and King County, as expected, does enact the affordable housing sales tax increase, the funds are not expected to directly benefit the North Bend community. 

It is estimated the City could collect approximately $300,000 annually from this one-tenth of a percent sales and use tax increase, which would be used for citywide affordable housing programs and grants, along with other related services to support low-income North Bend residents. 

Why is this Happening Now with Short Notice? 

This potential North Bend City Council action was necessitated by a King County missed deadline, which created a small window – consisting of just a few days - for cities to keep this sales tax revenue local.  

Earlier this year the Washington State Legislature passed HB 1590, which allows counties to adopt the affordable housing sales tax using councilmanic authority – with a deadline of September 30th. 

While King County Executive Dow Constantine included this sales tax revenue in county’s 2021 budget, the King County Council did not meet that September 30th deadline to formally adopt the sales tax. 

In the interim, state law says if the September 30th county deadline is missed, cities may adopt the one-tenth of one percent tax increase and use the revenue to support their own affordable housing initiatives and related services. 

The proposed North Bend resolution to minimally increase the sales and use tax will also contain a clause to bring it back to Council for reconsideration if King County Council does not impose the increase. 

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