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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