The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Everett


Ways to fix debt, improve openness

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Times are tense for residents and workers in Everett. The following are suggestions to increase transparency during the budgeting process and suggestions for sustainability and fiscal strength.
To increase transparency, institute the following policy: If four or more council members congregate to discuss an agenda item, notes must be submitted to the official record on what was discussed. Additionally, the city should bring back the budgetary committee. Be transparent about where the money, such as car fees, will be appropriated.
Suggestions for increasing revenue include: Accept credit card donations to Jetty Island and the animal farm; ease payments for library late fees with online options; allow Tier 2 and Tier 3 pot growers and distributors and institute a city fee, bring fees to par with other cities; end payments to the “rainy day fund.” In-depth considerations — conduct a cost-benefit analysis of payments to Comcast Arena's debt, and study the regressive structure of the proposed tax burden by comparing the proposed increase to the state average of the ratio of tax to income. Also, if the cap on property tax is crippling our city and others, present evidence to Olympia and ask for a legislative solution. Finally, ask Boeing to pay a fair tax rate, on sales and new construction.
Like many, I don't want to see a loss of staff or services, and I understand it's time to make important decisions. We need leadership to not only bring us out of this debt but prevent it in the future.
Megan Dunn
Everett

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