Mayors back tax increase

October 22nd, 2015 by Ken

The first meeting of the Lacey Leadership Council resulted in support for a sales tax increase to fund road maintenance in the city.

Called by Lacey Mayor Andy Ryder, the meeting of former Lacey mayors was an exercise in support for city programs.   Lacey is considering forming a Transportation Benefit District, which would allow it to raise taxes to support transportation projects.  Both Tumwater and Olympia have already formed such a district.   Lacey officials wrestled with funding.   The state allows the city to add an extra $20 fee on car tabs, which Olympia has already done.   Or, the city can go out to a vote of the people for a sales tax increase of up to 2/10th of one per cent – which Tumwater did last April.

Lacey officials say the city needs about a million dollars each year to continue its street overlay program, which has made Lacey streets some of the best rated in the state.   The car tab increase would bring in about $600,000 a year.  The sales tax increase could bring in a much as $1.8 million.

The Leadership Council was asked for it’s advice.  All six former mayors present supported the sales tax increase, although some did it reluctantly.  Those mayors were Virgil Clarkson, Graeme Sackrison, Nancy Peterson, Tom Nelson, Jon Halvorson and Karen Fraser.

Current Mayor Andy Ryder also brought up the subject of creating a Lacey Foundation that would raise monies for projects not funded by the government.  Several cities currently have such a foundation.  The mayors overwhelmingly endorsed the idea and agreed to serve as the initial board of directors when the foundation is created.   Former mayor Halvorson volunteered to do the paperwork needed to get the foundation going.

In other action, the Leadership Council was an enthusiastic supporter of the city’s 50th Birthday Celebration.   Mayor Ryder asked to add a public art portion to the celebration and was supported in that effort by the former mayors.   More information on the city’s birthday is available at city hall and soon to be on-line.

Posted in Business, Government, History, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

(comments are closed).