Thursday, February 18, 2010

HB 2912, Refered to Senate Ways and Means Committee

HB 2912 a bill for "Modifying local excise taxes in counties that have pledged lodging tax revenues for the payment of bonds prior to June 26, 1975." passed the House side of the Washington State Legislature on February 16, 2010.
On February 18, 2010, the bill was referred in the Senate to the Way and Means Committee.

Here is the message I sent yesterday to Washington State Senator Ed Murray:

  HB 2753, SB 6589, HB 2912 in their current form
MESSAGE:   Senator Murray, 
I do not support HB 2753/SB 6589, and HB 2912 in their current forM. 
As you may know HB 2912 passed the House with a variety of amendments that restrict the county from using the authority from the bill for all potential tourism promotion uses. It also fails to support Safeco Field, potentially setting it on a course similar to that of KeyArena. It also fails to full support Seattle Center and its KeyArena. 

In HB 2912, page 6, line 6, it refers to the Workforce Housing bill HB 2753. HB 2753 and its companion bill SB 6589 were referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee. I can not support the underlying bill in HB 2912, HB 2753, until I see support for Safeco Field maintenance, and Seattle Center's KeyArena. 

I am hoping that the overly prescriptive amendments added to HB 2912 are stripped out of the final bill.  

I am hopeful that Seattle Center, and its KeyArena, would be concidered a "regional center" in HB 2912. 
There still isn't a major tenant that regularly fills the upper bowl of that facility, and the rest of the site is looking to move forward on the site master plan. It just seams incomplete, and less attractive of an effort, without resolving KeyArena  
I would happy to have the arts and heritage funding source, as well as the millions of dollars going to workforce housing. There is no way the county can support any of that  anytime soon, on their own. 

I hope we can all participate and benefit. 

Last year HB 2252 had a similar housing provision in it that was also tied to another House Bill (I have forgotten the bill number, I'll post it later). the housing bill last year failed to make it out of House side, and HB 2252 was substituted by SB 6116.

Let's see what happens this year.