Mountlake Terrace is seeking a property tax “levy lid lift” of 44 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation to fund four years of rent payments for Interim City Hall and provide ongoing funding of Recreation and Parks. Under Washington state law, cities can increase the overall property tax levy collected from one year to the next by a maximum of one percent. For a city to go over this one percent “lid” on the property taxes levied, it must be approved (or “lifted”) by voters.
How Did we Get Here?
In 2008, part of the ceiling in the old City Hall collapsed. The nearly 50-year old building was deemed unsafe and later demolished after restoration and remodeling of the aging structure were found to be unfeasible and not cost effective. The City has been renting Interim City Hall in the Redstone Building on 220th Street since July of 2009. The cost to the General Fund is about $450,000 per year.
As shown in financial forecasts since 2012, there is no funding to continue renting as the City has used up its General Fund balance for rent payments.
The City owns the vacant Civic Center property and would like to utilize that property in the future and return City Hall to our downtown.
Meanwhile, the City has a lease agreement in place through 2019 and has spent $3 million to date for Interim City Hall.
If Proposition 1 is Approved:
The City can afford Interim City Hall rent payments. (See Property Tax Impact for more information)
Recreation and Parks programs will have a dedicated funding stream.
The City will work with the community to plan, design, approve and construct a new City Hall by 2019 on City-owned property.
If Proposition 1 or the County’s Sales Tax Measure is Not Approved:
The City Council will need to reduce General Fund programs, operations and/or services by about $450,000 to afford rent.