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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Council Roundup: City budget takes hit in Olympia

Also, volunteers of the year honored 
The city lost an estimated $655,000 to $1 million in revenue when the Legislature adopted the state budget last week. It could have been worse. A lot worse.

As the governor and lawmakers in Olympia looked for ways to cut the state's large budget deficit this year, sharing less tax revenue with cities was a recurring option. A collection of legislative proposals had the potential to eliminate $11 to $15 million from Bellevue's annual revenue.

Bellevue will lose $651,000 over the second half of this year and the first half of 2013 because the Legislature diverted a fiscal year's worth of liquor excise taxes from local governments to the state budget. Exactly how the lost revenue will impact Bellevue's budget has not yet been determined.

Many proposals calling for the state to take more local revenue were defeated or resolved in other ways:

  • Administration of state B&O tax stays local: If the state had taken over administration the local share of the business and occupation taxes, it could have cost Bellevue $1.6 to $6 million a year.
  • Cell phone sales tax remains: A Thurston County Superior Court vacated a ruling that had exempted cell phones from sales tax, so the city is not liable for a $5.6 million refund, and will continue to collect $1.3 million in annual sales tax revenue.
  • Annexation sales tax credit still available: Bellevue is still eligible to claim the credit, which would provide up to $1.2 million annually to help cover costs associated with providing services to South Bellevue areas that have petitioned to be annexed.

Feedback: Joyce Nichols, Interim Director of Intergovernmental Relations, 425-452-4225 or jnichols@bellevuewa.gov

Volunteers of the year honored
The council recognized this year's volunteers of the year. Hon Cheung Fung was named City Volunteer of the Year for excellent service to Bellevue’s environmental programs. Bellevue High School student Chirag Ved was named Youth Volunteer of the Year for launching Linking Opportunity, an online nexus to help local teens volunteer.

Community Volunteer of the Year Tracy Maury Meloy, who helps students in Bellevue schools through Eastside Pathways, will be honored on May 7.

In 2011, 5,836 people volunteered in 48 programs across 10 departments, serving more than 125,000 hours at an estimated value of nearly $3 million. Even more volunteers serve hundreds of local organizations that benefit Bellevue residents.

"Their contribution," says City Manager Steve Sarkozy, "makes a very real and lasting impact to the community. The City of Bellevue is committed to encouraging and enhancing civic engagement wherever possible."

Bellevue's volunteer program has listings of dozens of volunteer opportunities, as well as a guide to volunteering opportunities for local nonproits as well. Or contact the city's volunteer program coordinator at volunteer@bellevuewa.gov.

Feedback: Shelly Shellabarger, Volunteer Program Coordinator, 425-452-5375, sshellabarger@bellevuewa.gov

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