LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘WOW…Who Writes This Stuff For The City?’
WOW who writes this stuff for the City of Burien website. Currently on the website under annexation of north Highline this statement is made in the last paragraph, “…Financially feasible, and even provide additional resources to the City above the costs of annexation, since Burien would receive up to $5 million a year for ten years …”.
Amazing how wrong our City staff can be! Let me quote Washington state law RCW 82.14.415(6), “All revenues collected under this section SHALL be used SOLELY to provide, maintain, and operate municipal services FOR THE ANNEXATION AREA.”
How does the above quoted state law allow Burien (or any other City) to “provide additional resources to the City ABOVE the costs of annexation”? If the City writer cared to learn more he/she might try reading RCW 82.14.415(7) which further details what the annexing City MUST do with these Sales Tax Credits and what to do if the Credits actually exceed the costs of providing services in the area.
Okay now to give the City staffer a math lesson. It is NOT POSSIBLE for the City of Burien to receive anything near $5 million. Not even possible to receive near $1 million. Why? Because the above state law specifically details the formula upon which any City receives this Tax credit. The credit is based upon the state’s Sales Tax collected in the annexing City not as reported in the BERK Report based upon the City Sales tax.
Manager Mike Martin has already stated that Burien, “has received a total of $584,000 to date to help the city provide services in the NORTH Burien annexed area” referring to the Area X north highline. That amount is nowhere near $5 million as referred to in the website. Even if Burien annexes Area Y and again based upon sales tax formula the City MIGHT be able to get an additional $200,000 since the sales tax would then include those collected in Burien to INCLUDE Area Y (White Center business area). Burien does not have a snowballs chance to collected “up to $5 million” EVER. Note the City of Auburn received its first annexation check in 2008 for $1.25 million. Auburn has a enormous retail and commercial sales tax base compared to Burien. How could anyone speak of getting “up to $5 million” when it not even a remote possibility? Unless it is written to purposefully deceive, such a statement is grossly incompetent.
Who writes this stuff for the City? How could these significant errors get past the City Manager and the Council?
– Chuck Rangel
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