In the latest legislative session, Olympia authorized cities and county lawmakers to capture a part of already-collected sales tax and keep it. To put toward reasonably priced housing initiatives, lawmakers said, whether those be constructing new housing or contributing to efforts to protect affordable housing that’s already out there.
The Auburn City Council on Monday evening, voted two times to make it happen, first on a resolution expressing its intention to use the funds, the second on a rule that allows it to use that funds
Councilmember Larry Brown said, ‘I am very proud that the city is moving ahead on this.’ ‘We have a serious issue with housing in the region and this community, and I am pleased to see that we’re taking advantage of this chance.’
Planning Director Jeff Tate informed council members last week that they can do both things at the same time. But he added that it is important that the King and Pierce counties act first, as then, the sales tax capture within the region is more noteworthy. If cities take action first, Tate said, the sales tax capture is less. In fact, Pierce counties and King County had already taken action by the time the city of Tacoma did its division, but then Pierce County upturned what it had already done.
In the city, the budget effect will be worth about $155,000 each year for the next 20 years, and city staff suggested that the council voted on the resolution as well as the ordinance at the meeting held on Monday.
Councilmember John Holman said, ‘I think it’s a good idea, it doesn’t price our taxpayers anything, and it would be leaving cash on the table for projects we are already doing.’