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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sims: King County RE Tax Revenue Down

I was reading through a story about the King County Council's 9-0 (4 absent) vote to increase county spending by $3.8 million on "pet causes" when I stumbled upon an interesting line:

Sims, though, said real estate tax revenue is down.
Considering all the stories I've been posting about government revenue going through the roof thanks to the housing boom/bubble, I find that a bit hard to believe. Either King County's real estate tax revenues are declining while Washington State and nearly every local government within it is experiencing increasing revenue, or Ron Sims is just plain wrong. Also worth mentioning is a story I posted back in October which states in reference to King County: "Now, after several years of depressed revenues, sales-tax, property-tax and real-estate excise-tax payments are up." If someone knows where I can access county budget records to uncover the answer, I'd love to hear.

In non-bubble related news, I found the following bits about Sims' reaction to the spending amusing:
He said it erodes the "fiscal discipline" shown by the county in reducing its general fund by $137 million over the past five years to deal with revenue shortfalls.
"A veto is pretty dramatic."

"I'm not interested in having warfare with the council," he said. "At the same time, I am not interested in having to make serious cuts in the budget because of our appetite" for spending.
So, to sum up; Ron Sims is against excessive spending, and he might even do something to stop it. Maybe.

(Neil Modie, Seattle P-I, 12.14.2005)

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