2018 Proposition 1: Levy Lid Lift
Levy Lid Lift for Public Safety, Youth, Family & Senior Services, and Parks & Recreation
CITY OF MERCER ISLAND
PROPOSITION NO. 1
LEVY LID LIFT FOR
PUBLIC SAFETY, YOUTH, FAMILY &
SENIOR SERVICES, AND PARKS & RECREATION
The Mercer Island City Council adopted Ordinance No. 18-07 proposing to increase the City’s regular property tax levy to fund public safety, youth, family, and senior services, and parks and recreation services.
This proposition would sustain current levels of police/emergency, mental health counseling, safety net, park/right-of-way maintenance, and recreation services by increasing the City’s regular property tax levy by $0.238/$1,000 to a maximum rate of $1.241/$1,000 of assessed valuation for collection in 2019; set the limit factor for 2020-2024 at 103% (each year’s total regular property levy is the base for computing the succeeding year’s levy); and use the 2024 levy amount to calculate subsequent levy limits.
Should this proposition be approved?
YES [ ]
NO [ ]
for Ordinance No. 18-07 calling for the election to authorize a lift in the levy limit.
CITY OF MERCER ISLAND PROPOSITION NO. 1
The City projects a financial deficit of approximately $1.86 million in 2019 in the General Fund and Youth and Family Services Fund, increasing on average $1.12 million annually to approximately $7.42 million in 2024. Since 2001, the City has been limited by State law to raising property tax revenues by 1% per year. Property tax revenues account for 41% of the City’s budget. A third-party consultant reviewed and verified the City’s 6-year projections and concluded that new revenues or service level reductions would be required to balance future budgets. For six months, a 23-member citizen advisory group studied this issue, and the majority (74%) recommended that the City ask voters to raise the property tax levy limit to continue, not reduce, services.
If approved, Proposition 1 would continue current levels of service for police patrol; investigations; School Resource Officer; crime prevention; emergency management; code compliance; school-based and community-based mental health counselors; safety net services for youth, families, and seniors; maintenance of parks, trails, playgrounds, ballfields, rights-of-way, and medians; community center operations; and recreation programs for seniors and youth. Proposition 1 sets the City’s levy rate not to exceed $1.241 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for collection in 2019. The maximum annual levy increase for each of the five succeeding years would be 3%, and the 2024 levy would be used to calculate subsequent levy limits. A homeowner with a median home value of $1.2 million would pay approximately $24 per month more in 2019 to continue services at current levels.
City’s Operating and Capital Financial Challenges webpage
City Manager’s August 28, 2018 Presentation – 2019-2020 Biennial Budget Preliminary Recommendations
Financial Challenges 6-page Mailer (sent in March 2018)
Financial Challenges Explainer Videos
Community Advisory Group (meeting agendas and materials)