Friday, May 13, 2011

Another King County arts bill, SB 5958

[self-editor's note, I'm recycling a prior post, get over it]
The Special Session rewound the clock. Here are a couple bills I am watching.

The first bill is the the Hotel Tax (only) version of the Arts bill, SSB 5834.
The reality is that the hotel tax keeps going with or without this legislation. What this bill does do is allow 4Culture to bridge its operating budget by spending down part of its endowment until Qwest (yes, I still call it Qwest) Stadium is paid off in 2021, then 4Culture gets a slice of the revenue after that. King County controls the rest of the revenue, for tourism investments.

What I like about this bill is its brevity. This bill gives King County some discretion (within existing state law) to make tourism investments around King County. I'm not sure why legislators from around the state think they know the best uses for these taxes starting a DECADE from now, and feel compelled to prescribe how every penny is spent, forever.
If a bill does not pass, then the revenue keeps going and control shift to the cities first, then the county. The revenue would get splintered, and 4Culture would pretty much die.

The second bill is a King County stimulus bill, SB 5958 (another version of HB 1997, HB 2912, etc). It is the dressed up as the arts bill, the Convention Center bill, what it is at its most basic element is a stimulus bill.
This bill extends the Food and Beverage tax to 2015, and that money accelerates the start of the Washington State Convention Center's expansion. The bill also provides funding for workforce housing in and around transit centers (the convention center expands over the Metro Transit property).

I would rather have SB give up $100,000 to the state affordable housing fund, and $100,000 to the state arts and heritage fund, both drawn from the state tax credit on the car rental tax.

I would prefer that SB 5958 were simplified so that over the next decade King County had the flexibility to determine for itself what tourism related infrastructure investments to make, and not have their hands tied by some state representative from some other part of the state that really doesn't care what happens in King County.

SB 5958 has a hearing on May 17, 2011, Scheduled for public hearing in the Senate Committee on Government Operations and Tribal Relations & Elections at 1:30 PM. (Subject to change)

Advocates4Culture will be there to testify.



Peter said...

so, is there an admendment like hasegawa's in the senate's new bill?

Mr Baker said...

Hasegawa's amendment was written into the bill, but it really doesn't matter. The goal is to get that bill passed by a committee other than Ways & Means (where it failed), and get it to the Senate Floor where it could possibly change.

You will not get a true compromise between the House and the Senate until it gets out of committee.

The Senate might pass SB 5834 on Monday, on Tuesday they could pass SB 5958 out of committee. Then you have two bills in two different houses that has similar intent but are different.
Monday and Tuesday will be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Ok then. What about SHB 1997?

Mr Baker said...

SHB 1997 would have to pass the House, then go to a Senate Commiittee. There might not be enough time to do that, so, my "guess" is that the Senate is skipping that step and are just going to pass two bills over to the House. One with the stadium taxes, one without, and put it on the House to make a decision or carry the blame.

If the Senate wanted to make a significant change, Amendment, on the Senate Floor to SHB 1997 then it would go back to a House Committee as if it were a new.

This Rule can get waved more easily in the Senate, the rules are more forgiving

My other guess is that SB 5958 gets an Amentment in committee, or on the Senate Floor, to cut the car rental tax down from 2% down to 1%. that one has the broadest practical opposition. It is a tax credit (the state gets less revenue) and affects non-tourists within the state.

SSB 5834 (hotel only tax) can not get an amendment on the Senate Floor (a bill considered "Second Reading" can be amended, a bill considered "Third Reading" doesn't get amended. The Senate already considered the bill in committee and Second Reading two months ago, no rehashing. They will pass that one as-is.

Anyway, I think both bills get passed late enough so that if the House amends one of the bills then they kill it.

There is a 50/50 chance I'll be there on Tuesday to testify.

House Rule #11
"(C) SENATE AMENDMENTS TO HOUSE BILLS. A house bill, passed by the senate with amendment or amendments which shall change the scope and object of the bill, upon being received in the house, shall be referred to the appropriate committee and shall take the same course as for original bills unless a motion not to concur is adopted prior to the bill being referred to committee."

Senate Rule 67
"     A senate bill, passed by the house with amendment or amendments which shall change the scope and object of the bill, upon being received in the senate, shall be referred to an appropriate committee and shall take the same course as for original bills, unless a motion to ask the house to recede, to insist or to adhere is made prior to the measure being referred to committee."

Peter said...

so basically what we are rooting for is something to pass w/o tying the county's hands or nothing to pass? someone said that even if the county could use the money on an arena it wouldn't be til 2021. couldn't they just bond against it now for an arena? i find it very hard to believe that king 5 and brian confirmed arena efforts in seattle as well as bellevue and mcginn is being this belligerent. there really are more questions than answers that i think we all have about either of these efforts, but especially the seattle one.

Mr Baker said...

You could borrow and bond against it.

Sports fans most likely would want SB 5834, as of today.

Anonymous said...

Got to hand it to you for staying on top of this stuff. All this bait and switch tactics that the Legislature does confuses the crap out of me. And maybe that is the intent of passing a difficult tax extension with a possible ulterior motive of getting an indoor major league sports/entertainment center built in metro-Seattle.

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