$1M increase in general fund spending proposed in Arlington

ARLINGTON — The city’s first biennial budget calls for a $1 million increase in general fund spending over the next two years.

The general fund supports Arlington city services, such as police, fire protection and planning. Expenses are budgeted to go up roughly $600,000 from this year to next and another $400,000 from 2017 to 2018.

Leaders earlier this year decided to change the way they budget. They now draft spending plans for two years at a time rather than one.

The budget calls for a 1 percent increase in the total amount of property taxes levied by the city. The City Council would have to vote on that increase by the end of the month. A similar change was enacted in 2016 and amounted to about $4 more a year in property tax for a typical homeowner. Exact numbers for how a 1 percent increase could affect taxpayers in 2017 were not immediately available.

City utility rates are not set to increase next year.

Arlington officials have proposed a $52.4 million total budget for 2017, including a $15.2 million general fund. A $46.7 million budget has been drafted for 2018, with a $15.6 million general fund. The drop in total expenses from 2017 to 2018 would be due to grant-funded programs, city spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said. Grants awarded this year for next year have been factored in, but any grants that may be received next year for 2018 will need to be added later.

The largest piece of the general fund, more than $8 million per year, is designated for the city’s police and fire departments.

The levy amount for 2017 is expected to be $1.78 per $1,000 assessed property value, plus another 44 cents per $1,000 for emergency medical services. That adds up to about $555 a year on a $250,000 home. Voters in 2011 approved the EMS levy, which is capped at 50 cents per $1,000 assessed value.

In 2013, voters approved an increase in the local sales tax of two-tenths of a percent for the Arlington Transportation Benefit District. That took effect in 2014. It’s expected to bring in $898,567 in 2017 to go toward road improvements, part of a 10-year plan to update streets. The city is in the third year of that plan, Banfield said. Next year’s projects include restoring a stretch of 67th Avenue NE and redoing crosswalks downtown.

City leaders are focused on bringing more businesses to town, building up financial reserves and improving infrastructure as the city’s population continues to grow, Banfield said. The population estimate used for next year’s budgeting is 18,620 people. Since 1990, the number of people living in Arlington has more than quadrupled.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday in the City Council Chambers on Third Street. Anyone can come learn more about the budget and share their thoughts. The council’s final vote on adopting the budget is set for Nov. 21.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Cars move across Edgewater Bridge toward Everett on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edgewater Bridge redo linking Everett, Mukilteo delayed until mid-2024

The project, now with an estimated cost of $27 million, will detour West Mukilteo Boulevard foot and car traffic for a year.

Lynn Deeken, the Dean of Arts, Learning Resources & Pathways at EvCC, addresses a large gathering during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Cascade Learning Center on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New EvCC learning resource center opens to students, public

Planners of the Everett Community College building hope it will encourage students to use on-campus tutoring resources.

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman announces his retirement after 31 years of service at the Everett City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett police chief to retire at the end of October

Chief Dan Templeman announced his retirement at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. He has been chief for nine years.

Boeing employees watch the KC-46 Pegasus delivery event  from the air stairs at Boeing on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Boeing’s iconic Everett factory tour to resume in October

After a three-year hiatus, tours of the Boeing Company’s enormous jet assembly plant are back at Paine Field.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against the clock on the high seas, an expanding international armada of ships and airplanes searched Tuesday, June 20, 2023, for the submersible that vanished in the North Atlantic while taking five people down to the wreck of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)
A new movie based on OceanGate’s Titan submersible tragedy is in the works: ‘Salvaged’

MindRiot announced the film, a fictional project titled “Salvaged,” on Friday.

Mike Bredstrand, who is trying to get back his job with Lake Stevens Public Works, stands in front of the department’s building on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Bredstrand believes his firing in July was an unwarranted act of revenge by the city. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens worker was fired after getting court order against boss

The city has reportedly spent nearly $60,000 on attorney and arbitration fees related to Mike Bredstrand, who wants his job back.

Chap Grubb, founder and CEO of second-hand outdoor gear store Rerouted, stands inside his new storefront on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Gold Bar, Washington. Rerouted began as an entirely online shop that connected buyers and sellers of used gear.  (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Used outdoor gear shop Rerouted finds a niche in Gold Bar

Seeking to keep good outdoor gear out of landfills, an online reselling business has put down roots in Gold Bar.

Naval Station Everett. (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)
Everett man sentenced to 6 years for cyberstalking ex-wife

Christopher Crawford, 42, was found guilty of sending intimate photos of his ex-wife to adult websites and to colleagues in the Navy.

Most Read