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City of Tukwila

Proposition No. 1
Public Safety Bonds

The Tukwila City Council passed Ordinance No. 2509 concerning financing its Public Safety Plan. If approved, this proposition would replace three fire stations, fund life/safety equipment for the Tukwila Fire Department, construct a police/court justice center and establish a financial oversight committee by authorizing issuance of general obligation bonds not to exceed $77,385,000 (maturing within 20 years), and would authorize the annual levy of excess property taxes to pay the bonds, all as provided in Ordinance No. 2509. Should this proposition be approved?



The City of Tukwila seeks voter approval to sell $77,385,000 in general obligation bonds for 20 years to finance the construction of three fire stations, replacing existing seismically-deficient fire facilities.  This would fully fund the Tukwila Fire Department’s equipment and capital needs for 20 years, paying for critical items such as fire trucks and other life/safety equipment for Tukwila firefighters.  In addition, the bonds fund a justice center to house the Tukwila Police Department and Municipal Court.

Bonds are only one part of the City’s Public Safety Plan, which also includes constructing a combined Public Works facility, funded by finding efficiencies within the City’s existing General and Enterprise Funds.  If voters approve the bonds, the City Council will appoint a mandated oversight committee, made up of members of the Tukwila community, to ensure strong financial oversight and stewardship of this effort.  In addition, the City will provide regular progress reports on the Public Safety Plan to the Tukwila community.

The additional tax rate associated with the bond would average approximately $0.47 per $1,000 of assessed value, for an average payment of $116 per year for the owner of a $250,000 home.  More than 80% of the City’s $5 billion in assessed value is owned by commercial property owners, which would pay the same percentage of the bonds.  Homeowners who are disabled, or 61 years or older, and who meet low-income requirements may qualify for a property tax exemption.

For questions, contact Deputy Police Chief Bruce Linton at (206) 431-2190,

For questions about this measure, contact: Bruce Linton, Deputy Chief of Police, 206-431-2190,

Tukwila’s first responders provide life-saving services to our community every day. For a modest amount, this bond fully funds our fire department for the next 20 years, builds three new fire stations to replace our existing seismically deficient ones, and invests in a Justice Center to house the Tukwila Police Department and Municipal Court.

Modern facilities lead to better response times, and in the event of a fire or health emergency those precious seconds count.  Two of our fire stations were built for an all-volunteer department and all were constructed before annexations tripled our population.  We know our first responders’ facilities are outdated and unsafe. Some are in the flood plain and all are subject to significant failure in an earthquake.  In a disaster, don’t we want our firefighters able to respond to our community?   

This measure provides increased safety for our community.  It is only one part of the City’s overall Public Safety Plan, which also includes using existing revenues from the City budget by finding efficiencies in day-to-day operations.  And, 80% of the cost of this bond will be paid by commercial property owners.

Tukwila’s first responders deserve our vote.  Please vote yes to keep Tukwila safe.

We respect the great service our firefighters and police provide.  The issue here is the best use of funds.  The Council is asking our taxpayers to pay for a bond issue for a new public safety building when we don’t even have land picked out.  The city is estimating a cost of $100,000/acre when the cost for available vacant land is closer to $400,000/acre.  We are told that tearing down the three fire stations for earthquake safety is the best bet, yet it is not explained what it would cost to retrofit the buildings to meet earthquake standards.  They suggest that it will add $116/year to our taxes based on a $250,000 house but where can you find a 3 bedroom house in Tukwila for $250.000?  Let’s retrofit the buildings, buy better equipment for our brave firefighters, locate realistic plots with real land values for our police and stop wasting taxpayer money.  Why is this an emergency proposal?  Isn’t public safety part of our everyday expense?  Our most hazardous structures are our shops.  The need for these items is clear but let’s not approve a flawed bond.  We need a legitimate cost proposal in a better bond request.

We agree that we must address Tukwila’s public safety needs.  This proposal is a smart use of our taxes and an investment in Tukwila’s future.  Retrofitting outdated fire stations is not an option and the entire community will have a voice in the location of the Justice Center.  We’ve done the studies; it is time to act.  The public safety bond is a modest and needed proposal with robust community oversight.  Join us voting yes.

Submitted by: Katrina Dohn, Jim Haggerton, Kathleen Wilson,

Over forty years ago, Foster Golf Course was purchased with our last City bond.  Without a vote of citizens, our City Council repeatedly spends millions for various projects while ignoring safety needs or purchasing properties for growth.   $50,000,000 remains available. This bond allocates only $50,000 and $100,000/acre for the Shop and Public Safety Building, respectively. This is totally unrealistic, illustrating the lack of research and clear thinking given preparation of this bond. 

Submitted by: Howard Cohen, Charles Tyson,

60% yes vote and a minimum turnout equal to 1,153 voters (Washington Constitution, art. VII, sec. 2(b))

For questions about this measure, contact: Bruce Linton, Deputy Chief of Police, 206-431-2190,


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