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On Monday, October 12, 2020 the North Bend City Council approved a resolution that will keep revenue raised from a planned King County sale tax increase at home for affordable housing and related service needs.
On October 13th – after the North Bend Council action - the King County Council approved enacting the one-tenth of one percent sales tax increase targeted for county-determined affordable housing projects.
As the funds raised by the county were not expected to directly benefit the North Bend community, the City Council utilized an option to preempt the County and adopt that sales tax increase locally to ensure the revenue would be spent in North Bend.
That option became available when King County missed the September 30th deadline - outlined by state law – to enact the affordable housing sales tax increase. State laws says if counties miss the deadline, cities may adopt the one-tenth of one percent sales tax increase and use the revenue to support their own affordable housing initiatives and related services.
It is estimated North Bend could collect approximately $300,000 annually from the small tax increase, which will be used for citywide affordable housing initiatives, along with other related services – like mental health, substance abuse, senior and veterans programs - to support lower-income North Bend residents.
During the October 12th Special City Council meeting, Mayor McFarland extended an apology to the public and Council for the expedited special meeting and resolution, explaining that King County had essentially forced the City’s hurry-up approach.
Other Eastside cities - including Bellevue, Covington, Issaquah and Snoqualmie – also swiftly enacted similar resolutions to keep the sales tax increase for use within their communities.