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Bellevue Chamber News & Happenings: Bellevue Chamber News

Bellevue Chamber Gives Nod To City Ballot Measures

Tuesday, September 27, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lexi Obenchain
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September 26, 2016
Contact: Betty Capestany, (425) 213-1200;

Bellevue Chamber Gives Nod To City Ballot Measures
The Chamber Board will support Bellevue Propositions One and Two, relating to Fire Services and Transportation.

BELLEVUE, WA - The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce has announced it will back two local public safety ballot measures. Bellevue Proposition One, if approved by the voters, could generate up to $120 million over twenty years in support of fire services, including a new station in Downtown Bellevue. Proposition Two, also a twenty year property tax levy, could yield $140 million for neighborhood transportation safety, connectivity and congestion relief. 

The Chamber Board considered a number of important factors before reaching a decision.

  • Bellevue continues to grow and the City has identified $1.2 billion in unmet capital needs over a twenty year period, with a projected $400 million revenue shortfall;
  • The City has shown restraint in utilizing banked property tax capacity since 2008;
  • Revenues from the two levies will be restricted to fire services and transportation;
  • The value of the facilities will extend long beyond the voter approved taxes.

While the two levies combined will yield approximately $13 million per year, the City will still need to adopt a robust capital program for the 2017-23 time frame. Levy proceeds may be used to accelerate design on major proposals such as the Bellevue Way widening project, long a Chamber priority, but additional resources will be needed for construction. 

While the Chamber does not take property tax increases lightly, the Board has confidence that levy proceeds will be dedicated to fire services and transportation. In addition, all proceeds will be raised and spent in Bellevue, no debt will be incurred and the levies can expire in twenty years. 

In the final analysis, the Chamber sees improving local fire and transportation facilities, along with strong local schools, reliable and predictably priced hydroelectric power and world class health care, as important competitive advantages for attracting and retaining businesses of all sizes. 

On a note of caution, as the City's authorized aggregate property tax limit approaches $1.50 per $1,000.00 of assessed value, the Chamber will continue to seek positive return on investment from all new public expenditures, whether funded through the Council's biennial budget process or by voter approved levies. 

The Bellevue Chamber serves as the voice of business on the Eastside, representing thousands of jobs in our community. Businesses range in size from sole proprietors to large corporations. The Chamber's mission is to foster a healthy business environment by providing strategic leadership, advocacy, tools, and resources for business success.


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