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City of Covington

Proposition No. 1
Sales and Use Tax for Transportation Improvements

The City Council of the City of Covington, Washington, adopted Resolution No. 2018-09 concerning a sales and use tax to fund transportation improvements. This proposition would authorize a sales and use tax at a rate of two-tenths of one percent (0.2%) to be collected from all taxable retail sales within the City, in accordance with RCW 82.14.0455, for a period not exceeding ten years, for paying for or financing the costs of transportation maintenance and improvement projects identified in Resolution No. 2018-09. Should this proposition be approved?

Yes

No


Proposition 1 represents an effort by the City of Covington to fund transportation maintenance and improvement projects identified in the City’s six-year Transportation Improvement Program. Among other unmet transportation needs, the sales tax revenue will be used to pay costs related to the reinstatement of street resurfacing within the City, patching and sealing cracks in asphalt, and sustaining existing maintenance programs for the City’s streets and pedestrian walkways. A vote to approve Proposition 1 will authorize an additional retail sales and use tax of 0.2% of the selling price, which translates into an additional $0.20 for every $100.00 spent on taxable items in the City.  Revenue generated from the sales and use tax is restricted, meaning it can only be used to finance costs related to maintaining and improving the City’s transportation system and implementing the City’s transportation improvement program under chapter 36.73 RCW.  These costs are currently paid for, in part, by an existing $20 vehicle license tab fee imposed on City residents, which the City Council has agreed to rescind if this Proposition 1 passes.  If approved by the voters, the 0.2% sales tax authorized in Proposition 1 will be imposed for a period of 10 years.

Roads are critical to all of us and if we want timely pothole repair and repaving of older communities then city staff needs more money to pay for it. With county, state and federally mandated spending regulations the city only has so much extra to budget with for the services we citizens want.

Proposition 1 removes the $20 per vehicle Transportation Benefit District fee currently charged only to Covington residents. As a gateway city, Covington is heavily travelled each day by non-residents. The added .2% to our city's sales tax would spread the burden to everyone who shops in the city, which would include people who regularly cause wear and tear by their use of Covington's roads.

Additionally, even with this increase, Covington’s sales tax is still one of the smallest in the area. An average family with two cars and about $10,000 in taxable spending will save approximately $20 per year while increasing the funds available for road maintenance from about $310,000 to nearly $1,000,000.

This proposition is a no brainer. Lower expenses for Covington residents, and gain three times the funds to use on our roads.

 

Covington residents have been hit hard by escalating property taxes including increases in fire fees and education. Covington raises your city property tax every year    Do you want to pay more sales tax for everything you purchase in Covington for the next ten years?

This sales tax increase has been rejected by the voters twice.  Bringing it back shows disrespect for the people. Since 2014 the city’s sales tax revenue has increased by over two million dollars.  Will they ever have enough of your money?

Years ago when the utility tax was voted down by the citizens the city council imposed it anyway.  They collect 6-8% tax on your utility bills. To squeeze more revenue from you they collect taxes on utility taxes.

Since 4/1/2016 Covington began collecting a $20 license fee per vehicle from the residents.  If the city council removes the car tab fee, can they be trusted to keep it off? By law they can reinstate it at any time.  Some cities collect both increased sales taxes and car tabs.

Please go to the city website and look at the budget yourselves.   2017 was $24 million revenue and $20 million expenditures. No new taxes!

 

 

The argument against Proposition 1 only briefly acknowledges that the city is Reducing resident taxes to increase revenue and doesn’t note that revenue received from this portion of the sales tax must be earmarked for roads and transportation, by law!  We shouldn't neglect needed work on our infrastructure because the city May try to reinstitute the license fee. Lower our taxes And improve our roads by voting Yes on Proposition 1.

Submitted by: Elizabeth Porter, Cynthia Calhoun, Chele Dimmett, cynthia_calhoun@hotmail.com

Covington will reap millions in new sales, property, and utility tax revenues from the two large new housing developments off 204th Ave SE, and the new hotel and mixed use commercial business to be built on Hwy 18/256th Ave SE.

All Kent Kangley maintenance and improvements are already paid by the state, not the City.

This proposition will not improve traffic congestion.

There is no need for any tax increase. And abolish $20 car tabs.

Submitted by: Leroy Stevenson, Philip Jones, Jack Champlain, pmjones4080@hotmail.com

 

 

 Simple majority (RCW 36.73.065)

Rob Hendrickson, Finance Director, 253-480-2400, rhendrickson@covingtonwa.gov

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