City Council to place levy measure before voters

July 16, 2018 | by Erin Sirianni

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After weeks of exhaustive deliberation, and informed by an outside peer review of the City’s financial forecasts, the Mercer Island City Council voted 6 to 1 on July 10th to proceed with a public vote on a property tax levy increase.
 
Citing the importance of letting voters decide for themselves on preserving the services delivered by the City, Mayor Debbie Bertlin stated:  “In our recent satisfaction survey, an overwhelming percentage of residents (79%) stated that they are satisfied with the quality of City services. Now, they will have a clear opportunity to reinforce that at the ballot box.”
 
The levy lid lift would allow the City to maintain current service levels without significant cuts to popular safety net and quality of life programs, and cost the owner of an average Island home (median assessed value of $1.20 million) approximately $300 in the first year. In order to minimize the size of the levy, Council also directed staff to implement efficiency measures throughout the six-year duration and draft a financial sustainability plan going forward. Full details of the proposed levy language will be available by 5:00pm this Friday (July 13th) when agenda materials are assembled for the Council meeting next week on Tuesday, July 17th.
 
In addition, the Council is seeking volunteers for the pro and con committees for the proposed levy lid lift ballot measure. These committees submit statements in favor of, and in opposition to, the ballot measure for the local voters’ pamphlet. The statements are to be submitted directly to King County Elections by 4:30 pm on August 14th, 2018. Rebuttal statements are due August 16th, 2018.
 
Learn more about the City’s Financial Challenges and read FAQ at: www.mercergov.org/FinancialChallenges​. View the July 10th Council meeting video footage here.
[City of Mercer Island media release]
Read the Mercer Island Reporter’s coverage of the City Council’s decision in regard to the levy lid lift ballot measure here.

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