County Council Votes Wednesday On Sales Tax Increase For Affordable Housing

December 14, 2021

Everett Economy

Click to see the full Council packet, proposed ordinance and amendments.

We brought you notice of this last week and Wednesday morning the Snohomish County Council has a public hearing and vote scheduled for 10:30 AM on a plan to increase the retail sales tax in Snohomish County by 1/10 of 1 percent (0.1%). This would be done by a simple majority vote of the Snohomish County Council and not be presented to voters.

According to the Executive Summary prepared in support of the measure the plan would be for Snohomish County to use the tax money as follows.

  • Use of 82 percent of the funds expended on acquisition, rehabilitation, construction, and operations and maintenance of newly acquired and created affordable, emergency bridge, and permanent supportive housing for a total investment of $79,464,349 over the first five years. Of this, $48,375,811 would be allocated to affordable housing and $31,088,538 would be allocated to emergency bridge and permanent supportive housing.
  • Use of 18 percent of the funds expended for the delivery of services and the creation of a local reserve fund for the construction of behavioral health facilities for a total investment of $17,950,361 over five years with $13,929,270 being spent on the delivery and evaluation of services and $4,021,091 being placed into the local reserve fund.
    Some members of the Snohomish County Council are against the plan as it does not put the issue of a sales tax increase in front of voters. Councilmember Nate Nehring has introduced two amendments. One would put the issue before a vote of the people and the other calls for a sunset of the tax increase after five years.

    Three of seven Everett City Council members signed a letter addressed to the County Council asking the increase be put before a vote of the people. Scott Murphy, Jeff Moore and Scott Bader. The majority of the Everett City Council declined to sign onto the letter. Here is that letter.

    City Council Letter 1 percent tax Dec 13

    To see how to view or participate in the public hearing tomorrow click here and follow the instructions at the top of the page.

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