City conducts hearings on property tax levy, budget

ARLINGTON The city of Arlington will conduct its public hearing on the 2007 property tax levy during its Nov. 6 City Council meeting at 7 p.m., with its public hearing on the 2007 city budget to follow Dec. 4.
According to Kathy Peterson, of the city of Arlingtons Finance Department, this request seeks to increase the city of Arlington property tax by the minimum 1 percent allowable by law, in order to fund services ranging from police, fire and emergency medical response to the maintenance of parks and roads. She elaborated that the Arlington property tax also funds economic development initiatives, land use permitting and building inspections, financial services and the mayors office.
Peterson explained that the proposed property tax levy for 2007 would be $1.57 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, with $1.12 of that $1.57 going toward the regular property tax levy, and the remaining 45 cents of that figure going toward the emergency medical services property tax levy. She emphasized that this figure represents a reduction of 18 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation from the 2006 property tax levy rate.
Peterson reiterated that this proposed property tax levy is the maximum amount that can be levied, a 1 percent increase from the previous year, since the proposed regular property tax levy of $2,100,395 would amount to an increase of $19,533 from the previous year, just as the proposed EMS property tax levy of $841,625 would amount to an increase of $7,788 from the previous year. As the property tax levy rate currently stands, she pointed out that Arlington has had the third-lowest rate in Snohomish County for two years running, out of nearly 20 other cities and unincorporated Snohomish County itself.
Peterson noted that, after the Nov. 6 public hearing, the Arlington City Council will be requested to adopt resolutions for setting the 2007 property tax levy at their Nov. 20 meeting, since those rates must be set no later than Nov. 30, just as the citys budget for next year must be approved by Dec. 31. As such, she strongly encouraged citizens with comments or concerns to attend the public hearings on both the property tax levy and the city budget for 2007.
While the 2007 city budget will be explored further in upcoming articles in The Arlington Times, Peterson summarized the current draft as including provisions for the development of a one-stop permit center, updates to their emergency management plan, the second phase of Legion Park rehabilitation, improvements to the Graafstra County Charm Conservation area, the second phase of the North Olympic Avenue Project, and the second year of their Economic Development Plan implementation.
Another deadline thats coming up is for the 2007 hotel-motel grant application process, since applications will be due at the city of Arlingtons Finance Department in City Hall, 238 N. Olympic Ave. in Arlington, no later than Dec. 7. The Hotel-Motel Tax Distribution Committee will review the applications and make funding recommendations to the Finance Committee, which will make the final recommendation to the City Council.
This program is funded through taxes imposed on hotel and motel room rents in the city, and allowable uses of those funds include projects that assist tourism development and promotion in the city.

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