City Of Burien Sends Letter To North Highline Businesses; Here It Is

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The City of Burien recently mailed out a letter to approximately 1,250 business entities located or working in the North Highline annexation area, in an effort to provide the newly-annexed businesses with an overview of some of the opportunities available in Burien, such as the Taking Aim at Graffiti (TAG) program or the “pre-submittal meetings” offered by Community Development.

The letter also provided businesses with notice of some of their responsibilities, such as obtaining business licenses and updating their tax code on Department of Revenue forms.

Also, according to the city, as of April 1st, Comcast subscribers in the annexation area should be able to view Burien Channel 21 and Puget Sound Access on Channel 77 – and as we all know, nothing makes one feel more like part of a city than being able to watch live, exciting council meetings.

Here’s the text of the letter:

RE: City of Burien Annexation

Dear Business Owner,

I would like to welcome you to the City of Burien. As you probably know, on August 18, 2009, a majority of voting residents in the proposed annexation area, located in the southern portion of North Highline, chose to join the City of Burien. As a result, your business will officially be located in Burien as of April 1, 2010.

As a business new to Burien, your local opportunities and responsibilities will change on April 1. I encourage you to reach out and take advantage of some of our local resources. For example, Burien sponsors a Taking Aim at Graffiti (TAG) program, which provides graffiti removal to commercial properties – free of charge. Another City service you can take advantage of is the “pre-submittal meetings,” where you can meet with a City planner prior to expanding or moving your business. That way, you are aware of zoning & land use issues, parking, setbacks, signage and design criteria before you lease, buy or alter a new space.

There are also several local business organizations offering networking, collaboration and public input:

  • Discover Burien: Steve Gilbert 620 SW 150th St. Burien, WA 98166 (206) 433-2882 Promotional marketing. Meets 2nd Wednesday of each month at Burien City Hall 6:30 pm.
  • Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce Nancy Hinthorne 14220 Interurban Ave. S. Tukwila, WA 98168 (206) 575-1333 Regional voice and business networking. Monthly meetings at various locations.
  • Burien Business & Economic Development Partnership (BEDP) Dick Loman City of Burien Economic Development Manager (206) 248-5528 [email protected] Advisory Board to the Burien City Council. Meets 2nd Friday of each month at Burien City Hall 7:00 am.
  • Small Business Development Center (SBDC): I especially want to call your attention to our Small Business Development Center at Highline Community College. Experienced business professionals are available by appointment to confidentially work with you on expansion, marketing, or financial needs you may have – also free of charge. You may contact Zev Siegl at (206) 878-3710, ext. 5151 or [email protected]

Burien Business License
In addition to new opportunities, there are also new responsibilities. A Burien Business License is required to do business within our City limits. Business licenses are valid August 1 – July 31. For the remainder of this business license year, from April 1 through July 31, the license fees will be waived for newly annexed businesses. However, starting August 1, 2010, owners of annexed businesses will be expected to comply with the licensing requirements. For more information, please refer to the Burien Municipal Code Chapter 5.05, available on our website at, or call (206) 988-3714.

Burien Business and Occupation (B&O) Tax
The City of Burien collects a .05% business and occupation tax on gross receipts earned within the City. For example, a business with $100,000 in gross receipts would pay $50 in Burien B&O taxes. However, there is a threshold, which means that businesses with annual gross receipts of less than $100,000 are not subject to the tax. The tax is remitted quarterly and forms will be mailed to you. For more information, please refer to the Burien Municipal Code Chapter 3.11 or call (206) 988-3714.

State and Local Sales and Use Tax
The amount of state and local sales and use taxes you will be collecting and remitting through the Department of Revenue will not change, but the local reporting code will change so that Burien receives its share of the taxes. For taxes collected on or after April 1, 2010, the local code is 1734, instead of 1700. For more information, please contact the Washington Department of Revenue at

Our goal is to assist and welcome our new businesses and residents during this transition. For additional information on how the annexation will affect business owners and residents, please visit our annexation section on the Burien website,, or call the Burien Annexation Information Line at (206) 436-5555. We look forward to working with you.

Mike Martin
City Manager

Here’s the actual letter:

Click to download PDF version.

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