The city of Snohomish’s 10-year Transportation Benefit District sales tax was necessary in 2011 and in the early years of the Great Recession. It served its purpose but is no longer needed or justified, proven by the fact City Hall’s coffers are rolling in money. Overall sales tax revenue is way up; yet, City Hall is seriously studying another dedicated sales tax increase for housing.
As of January, the General Fund and TBD Fund had huge surplus balances, totaling $9.5 million, a reserve balance ratio of 40 percent when most cities are happy with a ratio of 10 percent.
If City Hall can hand out huge, no-strings attached, property tax breaks in the Pilchuck District and now in the Midtown District to developers like Craig Skotdal, owner of Snohomish Square, surely City Hall can afford to give the average Snohomish area citizen a little 0.2 percent TBD sales tax break.
Voters should send a message to City Hall by rejecting Prop 1.