Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Re: Help the State help King County, HB 2912, HB 2753

Dear Mr. Baker:

Thank you for your email regarding the passage of HB 2912 and SB 6051.
The Executive has asked me to respond on his behalf.  

As you may know, Olympia is still currently in special session.  Now, any bill that did not pass in the regular short session can be considered for passage.  Both HB 2912 and SB 6051 are still alive.  King County has been working in support of the passage of these bills.

You also mentioned HB 2753.  This bill has passed the state Legislature and is now waiting to be signed by the Governor.  

Thank you,

Michelle Gregoire
Communications Specialist
King County Executive Dow Constantine

-----Original Message-----
From: Mr Baker [mailto:communicate.with.mike@
< at >]
Sent: Saturday, February 20, 2010 11:19 AM
To: kcexec < at >
Subject: Help the State help King County, HB 2912, HB 2753

Executive Constantine,

As I am sure you are aware, the state legislature is working on some bills that could help King County. The bills that allow local use of  
excise taxes would be helpful to all counties. Bills like HB 2912, and SB 6051, would be very helpful to King County. Both bills made it out of their respective houses. HB 2912 is overly prescriptive, and has strayed away from the original intent of the underlying laws. The House is choosing for King County the tourism and infrastructure the revenue must support. This is inconsistant with the excise tax bills that both transfer the responsibility and control to the local jurisdiction.

As you may know, Seattle is beginning its journey to remodel the Seattle Center. The Century21 plan touches on all aspects of the 72 acre site, except anything to do with KeyArena. I am not sure how much participation the city could solicite in public/private partnerships for the entire site while the arena treads water for the forseeable future.

What happens with the arena in Kent in the future?

Memorial Stadium is going to change hands from the school district to the city. Will the city be allowed to use any of these funds for this  
capital improvement? It is a stadium, youth is involve, and a school district may use the stadium.

The hairsplitting by the House was not acceptable last year to the Senate. I am sure you remember being the first to testify in favor of SB 6116.
Last year, as this year, there is an attempt to provide revenue for workforce housing from HB 2912. HB 2912, page 6, line 6, references HB  
2753. Both bills were referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee. It is unlikely that the Senate will pass HB 2912 in its current form.  
If the House says "no" to the changes then that puts workforce housing support for the county, and make revitalizing a regional cultural center in my city more challenging than it needs to be.

I was perplexed by the states change in policy by reclaiming the sales tax credit. I hope that is either put back into the legislation, or is  
consistently applied in the future (including Lisa Brown's arena in Spokane, in 5 years).

I need your help solving this issue for all of us.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Peter said...

the thing i am wondering is in the striker admendment ed murray put in 2912, it mentions "public stadium facilities". would this language technically be enough to fund an arena? it says "stadiums" not "arenas". what exactly is a "striker admendment"? i am not sure what that is. if we somehow could get the athlete taxes passed in 2912 w/ language that lets the PFD use the money on stadiums and arenas, that would be great imo.

Mr Baker said...

A striker amendment strikes/deletes all words in a section of a bill, or the whole bill, and inserts different language.

"public stadium facilities" I think is Husky Stadium.

With all of the amendments on that particular bill I would not be surprised to see another bill get that striker amendment with all that language in it. SB 6051 is still alive, as is SB 6116.

So, there is still a desire to get something passed.

Peter said...

so murray's admendment couldn't fund an arena? it says it can fund "capital repalcment and improvment projects" for public sports stadium facilities. husky stadium is an renovation. why would it say "replacment"? would that technically give the county enough power to build an new arena , even though it says "stadiums"? the county could just argue that an arena is a indoor stadium.if tom's admendment on athlete taxes passes, does it have to specify that the PFD can use it, or if the county gets control of the taxes could they transfer them to the PFD even if the admendment dosen't say so?

Peter said...

murray's striker admendment also says that the pubilc sports stadium facilities that can be replaced or improved have to be owned by a public facilities district or a public stadium authority. even though keyarena is owned by the city, could they build an new arena w/ that admendment? i think the part that mentions safety improvments if a stadium is not owned by a public facilities district or public stadium authority is husky stadium. as i recall UW was gonna pay for the "luxury upgrades" by themselves, and have the county pay for safety improvments to make it ADA compatible.

Mr Baker said...

Somebody else could build an arena in Seattle with that funding.
Public facilities district, as defined, is pretty broad.

Peter said...

"Somebody else could build an arena in Seattle with that funding."

it would have to be the government, right? PFD may be pretty broad, but the county is getting control of these taxes if it passes. as i understand it, it would have to be the county funding it. how easy would it be to implement the athlete taxes in tom's admendment? would the county have to get clear authority from the state to use those funds for the PFD in the admendment, or if the admendment passed as is, could the county use the taxes for the PFD?

Mr Baker said...

King County.

There is a reason it was called the "King" Dome.

Peter said...

if i recall correctly, you did say that the money is potentially there for the key remodel in the PFD bill, right? i agree with you that we shouldn't settle for an key redo just yet. there's alot that could still play out. i say give it a year for the PFD to find another funding source for an brand new arena. if we wait too long, we might lose our pick of NBA teams imo. don't we have to get an new team by 2013 in order to get the sonics name back? with the way it is going, i am worried that the county will just take the easy way and redo the key. i hope they think out their final desicion.

Mr Baker said...

The Senate is dropping the temporary sales tax proposal from the general fund budget, and are looking for other revenue in the big book of state exemptions. So, they may be getting closer to resuming action.