Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2011 Legislative Session in Olympia, 4Culture, and Tourism Taxes

Less than two weeks ago I sent an email King County Executive Dow Constantine asking him to have a a priority the return of King County's tourism taxes to the control of King County. Today I received a positive response.

As Mr. Constantine reminds me, he did testify in favor of such a bill last year. His testimony was March 18th, 2009, to the Washington State Senate Ways & Means Committee to be precise. The bill was SB 6116.
You can watch the vidoe of his speech by clicking on this link here, and start watching at the 14 minute, 22 second mark. Of course, if you do that you would skip past Ross Hunter testifying in favor of the same Senate Bill over his own House Bill HB 2252. HB 2252 was overly "prescriptive".

Here was my message Mr. Constantine:
Dear Mr. Baker:
Thank you for your e-mail requesting that I advocate for 4 Culture funding during the upcoming session of the Washington Legislature.
I am a longtime supporter of arts, culture, preservation, and heritage programs and have a history of working to obtain funding for these purposes. Last year, as a County Councilmember, I traveled to Olympia to testify in favor of House Bill 6116, which would have extended King County’s local-option hotel/motel taxes and reserved a portion of the funds collected for arts and heritage. Earlier this year, I supported the latest version of this bill (HB 2192) and Deputy Executive Fred Jarrett testified in favor of its passage.
I will continue to support the use of visitor taxes to benefit programs and institutions that attract visitors to this region, including the arts, during this legislative session. I consider it a smart investment, as tourism is a major industry that benefits the entire state.
Thank you again for writing.
Dow Constantine
King County Executive

From: Michael Baker [mailto:communicate.with.mike (at )]
Sent: Friday, October 08, 2010 11:15 PM
To: kcexec ( at )
Subject: 2011 Legislative Session in Olympia, 4Culture, and Tourism Taxes
The Honorable Dow Constantine

I want you to know that I am a sports fan and that you are also a parent and a proud citizen of King County. I urge you prioritize securing 4Culture’s funding future, as well as the other arts, entertainment, and heritage funding that would benefit by King County securing its tourism taxes in the 2011 legislative session in Olympia.

Have a great day,
Michael J. Baker
Seattle, Wa
Visit me here:

I know that I can count on you during the legislative session in January to support Dow Constantine's efforts. Hopefully, Ross Hunter will be there, too.