Burien Property Taxpayers Expected To Get Slight Break in 2011

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by Ralph Nichols

As Burien City Council members prepare to resume work on the 2011-12 general fund budget on Monday, Oct. 25, there is good news for local property taxpayers.

The property tax on a $300,000 home will drop slightly, from $456 to $444 for a $12 reduction, in 2011 for residents already living in Burien before annexation, interim Finance Director Gary Coleman has projected.

For residents of North Burien, who were annexed into the city on April 1, it’s even better. Their property taxes will be $93 less for a $300,000 home than what they were paying King County.

This is due to the increase in assessed value city wide as a result of the additional residential property that annexation added to Burien, Coleman told council members on Oct. 11.

The city’s total preliminary budget is $73.9 million for the biennium, including a $40.1 million general fund budget, with a 2.2 percent average increase in total revenue between 2011 and 2012.

Local law enforcement, with Burien police services provided through a contract with the King County Sheriff’s Office, jail and court expenses account for $21,548,400, or 54 percent, of the general budget.

City Manager Mike Martin asked the council to approve a 1% pay raise for city employees.

Additional projected general fund expenditures include:

  • General government operations – $8,957,512 or 22 percent.
  • Parks and recreation programs – $5,532,211, or 14 percent.
  • Community Development – $2,942,261, or 7 percent.
  • Public Works – $1,123,986, or 3 percent.

Anticipated general fund revenues for 2011-12 include:

  • Sales tax – $11,841,391, or 29 percent.
  • Property tax – $11,693,000, or 28 percent.
  • Utility tax – $7,234,699, or 17 percent.
  • Gambling tax – $1,150,000, or 3 percent.
  • Business (B&O) tax – $1.112,092, or 3 percent.

Remaining sources of the $41.1 million in anticipated general fund revenue include planning and permitting fees, state-shared money, parks and recreation fees and charges, and miscellaneous revenues.

City Manager Mike Martin recommended that council members use the slight revenue surplus to give employees a 1 percent cost-of-living allowance in 2011. They have not received an increase in two years.

He also recommended adding two maintenance workers in Street and Surface Water Management, a senior planner, and a temporary management analyst.

The cost of all positions would be offset through contract savings and a grant.

Preliminary city funding for 21 human service organizations and programs is set at $200,000 – a $30,000 increase from this year.

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