Seattle budget hole set to increase by $82 million

Real estate is not the only factor. The city’s sugary drink tax will miss $4.49 million by 2024. A shortfall in retail sales, business and professional taxes, and other revenue will add another $9.37 to the city’s deficit. general fund. Vehicle registration fees and commercial parking taxes will contribute $1 million and $3.47 million respectively to the shortfall.

The city relies heavily on REETs to pay for capital projects – a category that includes a wide variety of construction such as bridge repairs, bus rapid transit corridors, street paving and improvement of bicycles and pedestrians.

City Council Budget Chair Teresa Mosqueda said capital infrastructure projects funded by REETs are most likely to be cut in the 2023-24 budget. The council’s final budget proposal has not been released, but Mosqueda said she hoped to find money for infrastructure projects already underway or about to be, while putting projects on hold longer term until the city’s finances improve.

“There is no way to offset a $64 million reduction with a general fund that has already been stretched to the max, given that we have no additional federal investments,” Mosqueda explained.

Despite the additional budget shortfall, Mosqueda has maintained its commitment to avoiding austerity measures for social services such as homeless outreach, shelter and affordable housing, domestic violence assistance, youth counseling and more.

“The human need has been so dire throughout this COVID pandemic,” Mosqueda said. “We need to continue basic investments in essential services to keep people healthy, to feed people, to keep people housed, to keep people safe. It’s Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Right Now [for the city budget] in terms of the destination of part of the financing.

Mosqueda spoke at a rally outside City Hall on Tuesday morning with fellow council member Lisa Herbold in which they pledged to secure a 7.6% increase in social service contracts to match inflation.

The city council passed a law in 2019 tying service worker contracts to inflation to help offset the low wages and high turnover the industry is experiencing. In his budget proposal, Mayor Bruce Harrell capped the contract increase at 4% to save money.

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