Understanding the Seattle Police Department Budget

The past month has brought calls for dramatic reductions to police departments budgets, including here in Seattle. In order to make sense of those demands, it’s important for us to understand how police departments request and spend their budgets. Here is a deep dive of the SPD budget, with a historical perspective, breakdowns from a number of different angles, a look at Mayor Durkan’s proposed 2020 cuts (as well as her early thoughts on next year’s budget), and some of the principles behinds calls to “defund the police.”

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“Amazon Tax” bill is off the table — for now.

According to a memo issued today, Council President Lorena Gonzalez has decided that the payroll tax bill put forward by Council members Sawant and Morales does not meet the criteria for allowed Council actions under Governor Inslee’s proclamation modifying the terms of the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) and Public Records Act (PRA). As such, the Council may not continue deliberations on it while the Governor’s proclamation remains in effect, and next Wednesday’s Budget Committee meeting to discuss the bill has been cancelled.

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