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City of Bothell

Proposition No. 1
Levy for Safe Streets and Sidewalks

The Bothell City Council passed Ordinance No. 2193 concerning a proposition for a street improvement levy rate increase. To fund street maintenance and safety improvements for neighborhood streets and arterials, including resurfacing, school walk routes, sidewalks and crosswalks, the City’s regular property tax levy shall be increased for a period of nine years by $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed value for collection beginning in 2017 and such amount shall be used for the purpose of computing the limitations for subsequent levies provided under RCW ch. 84.55. Should this proposition be:



The City of Bothell proposes a 9-year levy to fund road preservation, crosswalks, and sidewalk repair and construction. The levy will fund pedestrian and traffic safety citywide, with priority investment of sidewalk funds near schools.  Investments will include resurfacing of arterial streets, pothole and roadway repair, connecting existing sidewalks, crosswalk safety improvements, and improved roadway markings. This levy would prevent the need to reduce personnel citywide to fund street operations.

This levy will allow the City to invest in road preservation, reducing the cost of the road system substantially in the future. The levy will be used solely to maintain and extend the life of Bothell’s street system and improve overall safety for pedestrians. The levy would replace previously dedicated funding lost to voter-approved statewide tax limits. The City will provide annual reports to demonstrate what this levy paid for, allowing in 9 years for the public to decide if the outcome of this levy meets their expectations.

If approved by voters, this levy would result in additional property taxes of $188 per year ($16 per month) for a $376,000 median home. This levy increase is $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed value and will raise $4 million annually.

For questions about this measure, contact: Erin Leonhart, Public Works Director, 425-806-6810,

Providing a safe and functioning transportation system is a core function of the city along with Fire/EMS and Police services.  In the 2015 citizen survey, traffic and improving our roads were among the highest priorities. 

It will take ~$4M/year in order to address critical needs for safe school walk routes (more sidewalks and cross-walks) as well as maintaining our deteriorating streets.  Rather than make cuts across all departments – including Fire/EMS and Police – the City is asking your approval to raise the property tax levy rate. 

An annual report will show how our money is being spent.  The 9 year limit means the city will have to justify continuing the program based on results.

About 43% of the 300 lane miles of our roads are rated poor to good.  The cost to rebuild a failed street could be up to 50 times the cost of providing regular maintenance.   Better streets also improve safety and reduce congestion. 

Without the levy, Bothell won’t be competitive for Safe Routes to Schools funding which recently averaged $10 in grants for each local dollar match.

If the levy increase is approved, our city taxes will still be lower than most surrounding cities. 

Vote to Approve Proposition#1.

Would this levy meet the needs of taxpayers or overburden them? Bothell needs walkable sidewalks and maintained streets, but not at this value. A 26% increase in property taxes is significant, what do we get? One quarter mile of sidewalk per year over the next nine years, roughly the distance of one side of Main Street per year. Bothell citizens need more sidewalks to ensure our children can arrive at school safely every morning; this plan does not come close to that goal. The city says it will take 30 years to get all high priority sidewalk segments installed. Both Seattle and Hoquiam have found ways to build sidewalks for one third the cost, why not us?

There is grant money for arterials, but often not for residential streets. Our taxes should go to improving neglected residential streets, while grant money and developer impact fees should cover the cost of arterials. We ask that our street maintenance be paid for in an equitable manner between residents, developers, and the added pass-thru traffic.

To see city proposed sidewalk maps, and how Seattle and Hoquiam cut costs, look for us on Facebook: Bothell Citizens for Real Safe Streets and Sidewalks.

Putting off maintenance will cost money, not save it.  The total property tax increase is only 4.7%, not 26%.

Developer impact fees can't be used for maintenance, only for increasing capacity.

Seattle’s “low-cost” sidewalks are using cheap materials and shortcut designs.  Hoquiam didn't build cheaper sidewalks, they got matching grants.  Similar grants could yield ~2.5 miles of sidewalks per year – if we have funds to match.

Regarding "pass-thru traffic" -- are they suggesting tolls?


Submitted by: Bill Moritz, David Hablewitz, Kathryn Tewson, 

Tell the city to raise our taxes where it helps us most: the streets we live on. With your No vote, tell the city to use other funding, like grant money and developer impact fees for arterials, and school sidewalk grants for sidewalks. Make Bothell work for you by forcing the city council to create a better plan for our streets and to build more sidewalks for our kids. Vote No on Proposition #1

Submitted by: Benu Wyman, Jackie Hallstrom, Jeanne Zornes,

Simple majority (RCW 84.55.050)

For questions about this measure, contact: Erin Leonhart, Public Works Director, 425-806-6810,


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