LETTER: Less Revenues Forecast For Area Y By King County

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a letter sent to the Burien City Council, and re-printed here with permission:

Please exercise your fiduciary responsibility before proceeding any further down the road to financial disaster that annexation of Area Y will ensure (see below and attached).

Members of the Burien City Council –

Yesterday, I received a document from the King County Assessor’s Office regarding Area Y/White Center/North Highline.

While it was only a preliminary draft, it shows Area Y as decreasing in taxable land value by $126,295,650 for the year 2012. This is significantly lower than Berk or the City of Burien projected the value of the land to be in the report and the application. Of course, this means less monies coming into Burien should they annex the area. The Assessor’s office anticipates that the Fire District will receive $189,443 dollars less next year to operate in Area Y. Area Y land values dropped by 17% and remember that Berk projected in its report that land values would continue to rise by 2% annually in the area-that is a difference of 19% from the report to the reality of the situation. I am still waiting to hear the approx. amount less of total dollars this will bring in to operate the area in 2012.

You will recall the the Assessor’s office notified Burien that the City will receive approx. $467,000+ less monies to operate the City in 2012 due to the declining land values in Burien-the core area of the City dropped by 8.+% and the newly annexed area dropped by 12 to 17%. Again Berk assumed that values in the city would increase by 2% in Burien.

Clearly, the City will receive a significantly lower amount of revenues than anticipated. The assumptions about revenues in the Berk report draft are no longer valid and will not be valid for a number of years-if ever. This is a point that will be made about the Draft Berk Report and the assumptions for revenues that the report is based upon-to the Boundary Review Board.

Please see attached the document from King County .

Also, I received a letter that clearly states that the Highline School District would receive more monies for the north end schools, if Area Y were to annex to Seattle.

John and Linda Poitras

Here is a screenshot of the spreadsheet referenced in this letter; you can also download a PDF here and an .xls here.

Click image to see larger version.

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9 Responses to “LETTER: Less Revenues Forecast For Area Y By King County”
  1. Coverofnight says:

    Wait! Let me put on another pot of coffee in anticipation of wading through Joey Moretaxes’ response!

  2. Barbara says:

    Mr. Potras – can you please share the letter you received regarding funding for Highline School District if the area were to annex to Seattle – it would be good to see specifics –

    • william Forest says:

      Subject: RE: PDR – Question on Federal Way School District and Southern Des Moines
      Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2011

      Des Moines residents who live within the Federal Way School District boundaries pay school taxes to FWSD. These residents pay city taxes to Des Moines, but none of that money comes to schools in either district.
      Highline School District does not pay anything to Federal Way School District.
      I read your letter to the editor in the Highline Times on October 7, and I would like to point out some areas where you may not have an accurate understanding of the school funding system.
      Your letter stated that taxpayers in Burien, Des Moines, SeaTac, and Normandy Park subsidize North Highline schools. Actually, all residents within Highline School District boundaries pay the same property tax rate to the school district, whether they live in a city or in unincorporated King County (North Highline.) The funds are distributed to schools in an equal per-pupil amount, so North Highline schools get the same as all other schools. As such, no schools are being subsidized by taxpayers.
      Annexation of North Highline to either Burien or Seattle will not change either the flow of taxes or governance of the school district. School taxes will continue to fund the school district, whether North Highline residents are citizens of Burien or Seattle.  Residents of Highline School District will continue to have the same voice in their schools, because the district is governed by the school board elected by voters of the district.
      You mentioned that Seattle residents will not fund North Highline schools. In fact, Seattle does have a special voter-approved Family and Education Levy that provides some revenue for schools; so if Seattle were to annex North Highline, schools in North Highline would actually get some additional revenue.
      The school district administration does not anticipate the need to raise taxes due to annexation of North Highline to either Seattle or Burien.
      I hope that clarifies the situation for you. Thank you for allowing me to provide you with this information. If you have further questions, please contact me.
          Catherine Carbone Rogers
            Director, Communication and Community Relations       
      Highline Public Schools

      • Funny Burien says:

        Got it… John Poitras = William Forest.

        • william Forest says:

          Believe what you like.. I actually provided the information to John.. I don’t notice you providing much value added to the dialogue here.

      • I originally asked this question in this manner (the to line was left off and should have my name on it) along with follow-up question (not documented here) in the micro view point to clarify the bigger issue.

        Mrs. Edgar was stating that Seattle Public Schools would treat these students like they were transfering from SPS to Highline and pay the educational costs via inter-district fund transfers. That is simply not the case, unfortunately. The Seattle FEL (Family education Levy) would increase funding, per “Seattle” student, 1.2%-3.5% (not my numbers).

        Mr Forest, I don’t believe you are Mr Poitras…

        Joey Martinez

  3. Get a clue burien city council says:

    Cover of night,

    Now that’s funny. I think because it is very true. And here’s Joey in five four three two one…….

  4. Mr Poitras, thanks for digging into this and getting further information. You should be commended because you’re trying to add value to the debate.

    I am sorry that your post has been high-jacked by non-contributing posters. In my opinion, It’s always best to make an argument with facts and figures and not simple “you just don’t get it do you” type statements (not directed at you good sir).

    Joey Martinez

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