City of Everett Development Fees Have Not Kept Up With The Times

City of Everett, WA

Everett hasn’t raised most fees to developers in over 15 years.

Currently the City of Everett is trying to address a projected shortfall of $13 million dollars in 2015. To deal with that, Everett has formed a team to try to come up with options to close that gap. As part of the ongoing Structural Deficit Advisory Team briefings at the Everett City Council, it came out tonight that the City of Everett last updated its planning and development fees in 1995. Additionally Everett’s traffic mitigation fees charged to developers have not been adjusted since 1999. As an example, Everett charges $900.00 for traffic mitigation while the city of Sultan charges $5220.00 and the city of Lynnwood charges $7914.00. Everett’s business license fee has remained at $10.00 and there is no annual renewal charge. The Everett Fire Department is required to conduct fire inspections but unlike most cities in the area does not charge for that service.

Tonight’s presentations were about options to raise taxes and fees. Among the items mentioned were doubling the current adult bus fare on Everett Transit from $1.00 to $2.00. For every 25 cent increase in bus fare there would be an annual increase of $250,000.00. There was no talk of raising fares for seniors or youth.

There was a suggestion to bring back parking meters and charge 50 cents per hour for parking in the downtown Everett corridor. Roughly from Broadway on the east, West Marine View Drive on the west, Pacific Avenue to the south and Everett Avenue to the north. That could generate $300,000.00 per year. There was also talk of charging for parking at 36 stalls at the Everett station. Those stalls are currently free two-hour parking and are used by people primarily using the services inside the station, most notably the unemployment office. Making those 36 stalls paid parking could bring Everett about $100,000.00 per year. It was also revealed that if someone received four parking violations, Everett Police can impound the person’s car. However, when the owner goes to get their vehicle out of impound they only have to pay the impound fee and don’t have to pay the outstanding parking tickets to get their vehicle back.

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At the start of the presentation many council members stated they had their own ideas for generating revenue and a council committee will be gathering those ideas and presenting them at a future meeting. As the revenue options were being considered, Everett Mayor Ray Stephenson told the city council members that he didn’t want to look backward and place any blame for failing to address revenues in the past but wanted to move forward as fast as possible. He expressed concern that if the council spent too much time studying the deficits and didn’t take fast action that more drastic taxing measures would have to be taken.

The City of Everett has a budget reduction website where all of the presentations and options are posted and available for review. Most of tonight’s documents should be available by the end of the day Thursday.

The next presentation by the Structural Deficit Advisory Team will be on April 30th followed by at least two public meetings in May.


About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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