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City of Shoreline

Proposition No. 1
Sales and Use Tax for Sidewalk and Pedestrian Improvements

The City Council of the City of Shoreline, Washington adopted Resolution 430 concerning a sales and use tax to fund sidewalk transportation improvements. If approved, this proposition would authorize a sales and use tax of 0.2% within the City pursuant to RCW 82.14.0455, for a term of 20 years, to repay indebtedness issued from time to time to construct, maintain, rehabilitate, repair and/or preserve sidewalks and pedestrian improvements in the City in order to improve pedestrian access and safety and/or the condition and life cycle of the City’s sidewalk pedestrian system.

Should this proposition be:

Approved

Rejected


When Shoreline became a city in 1995, it had approximately 53 miles of sidewalks. The City, primarily through grant funding, and private development have added approximately 22 miles of sidewalks since then. Proposition 1 represents an effort to accelerate sidewalk improvements through a dedicated funding source. All of the revenue generated by the additional sales tax will be dedicated to the repayment of indebtedness issued from time to time to fund the costs of sidewalk improvements in the City, with the majority going toward the construction of new sidewalks. A list of initial sidewalk improvements is contained in Resolution 430. If approved, Proposition 1 will authorize an additional retail sales and use tax of two-tenths of one percent (0.2%) of the selling price, increasing overall sales tax in Shoreline from 10.0% to 10.2% for a period of twenty years. This increase will equate to 2¢ of additional sales tax for every $10 of taxable purchase or use within the City.

Sidewalks provide important safety, health, transportation, social, and business benefits and help define neighborhood quality. Current sidewalks represent only about 50% of the city’s Transportation Master Plan planned pedestrian system.

Shoreline citizens consistently rank sidewalks as a high priority. In response a Sidewalk Advisory Committee appointed by the City Council studied the issue and recommended project prioritization and funding. The Council adopted many of the recommendations and now seeks funding to complete a dedicated list of new sidewalk projects.

 The City’s existing budget must also provide for police, roads, and other services and cannot fully fund sidewalk construction. Funding with increased property or vehicle taxes is unfair and unrealistic.  However, we can make substantial and equitable system improvements over the years by dedicating funds from a small increase in the city’s sales and use tax.

Your support of a two tenths increase in the sales and use tax will generate approximately $59 million over 20 years. The anticipated revenue will fund a list of new sidewalk projects, with the balance used to accelerate repair of existing sidewalks. The projects are geographically distributed across the city and focus on highest-need areas.

Vote Yes to fund sidewalk repair and expansion in Shoreline.

 

Proposition 1 is a well-intentioned but fundamentally flawed response to resident pressure for more sidewalks.

We reluctantly oppose Proposition 1 because it does not substantially address safety and mobility on local residential streets across the city. The 2018 Shoreline Sidewalk Prioritization Plan favors building new sidewalks along busy arterials where people won’t frequently walk.

Shoreline has 64 miles of older sidewalks which do not meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The taxpayers’ money could go ten times further with small strategic fixes to bring the existing sidewalk network up to code:

New sidewalks cost: up to $2,500,000/mile.
Repair and upgrade cost: up to $195,000/mile.

The city still needs money to fully fund sidewalk repairs and upgrades. Meanwhile, the city also plans to request more money in 2019 for the replacement of our community pool and recreation center.

Given competing priorities, Shoreline should continue on the current course: pursue state and federal grants, and enforce contributions from private developers to grow our sidewalk network. New sidewalks will continue to be built without increasing sales tax to 10.2% - the highest rate in King County.

Vote “No” on Prop 1: the city should prioritize repair before expansion.

 

Shoreline recently increased funding for sidewalk repair and maintenance by a significant amount.

Prop 1 will fund sidewalk construction based on priority needs and addresses the ADA Transition Plan.

No viable funding alternative exists. New development only provides scattered sidewalks and grants cannot be counted on to complete system needs.

This small sales tax increase – 2 cents on a ten-dollar purchase—enables Shoreline to proceed with construction and avoid higher construction costs in the future.

Submitted by: Robin McClelland, William Montero, Laura Mork, shorelinesidewalks@gmail.com

 

In the 2016 Satisfaction Survey, residents preferred sidewalk maintenance and “availability near residence”. Voters should judge whether the projects in Resolution 430 sufficiently addresses these priorities.

Only 39% of residents preferred to raise sales tax for new revenue. The sales tax is regressive.

Vote no to prioritize sidewalk repair of existing popular sidewalks over construction of 12 questionable projects, and to ensure that the City maximizes miles of safe, modern sidewalk per dollar per pedestrian.

Submitted by: Megan Kogut, Dustin McIntyre, Ginny Scantlebury, www.shorelinesidewalksplan.org

Simple majority (RCW 36.73.065)

Sara Lane, Administrative Services Director, 206-801-2301, slane@shorelinewa.gov

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