Early last week, Council member Kshama Sawant turned her committee hearing into a political rally to demand that the Council overturn the Human Services Department’s RFP results and restore funding for organizations that lost funding, most notably SHARE, WHEEL, The Women’s Referral Service, and an Urban Rest Stop. After some behind-the-scenes shuttle diplomacy by Council member Teresa Mosqueda, the Council did that very thing this afternoon.
On Tuesday this week, the Council voted down an employee-hours tax (aka a “head tax”). In doing so, several Council members who voted “no” voiced their support in theory for a head tax and committed to working on a process with a broad group of stakeholders to evaluate a head tax — and other progressive revenue-raising options — and come back with a specific proposal. On Wednesday, Council member Gonzalez began circulating a draft resolution to that extent, which she hopes to have the Council approve on Monday.
In order to dig themselves out of their budget hole (after failing to enact an employee-hours tax), the City Council raided the Mayor’s budget today. Their additional cuts today, on top of a couple that were already in their budget, lopped over $1 million from a budget originally proposed to by $6.4 million — about a 17% cut.
It took some pretty chaotic sausage-making to pull it together, but the Council cobbled together a balanced budget today.
Budget Chair Lisa Herbold bet big by putting the employee-hours tax into her revised balancing package, knowing that it didn’t have majority support from her colleagues. She lost that bet today, and with that her budget plan fell apart.
Monday afternoon Budget chair Lisa Herbold released her “revised balancing package” proposal for the 2018 city budget. Tuesday morning she begins to lead her fellow Council members in deliberations and votes on the items in the package.
The big contentious issue, the employee-hours tax (or “HOMES tax,” or “head tax”), is still in the package, and in fact will be the first item up for discussion and vote. It won’t be pretty.
Yesterday the City Council spent most of the day looking at 59 proposals to further refine the proposed budget for 2018. And a few of them got heated.
This morning, Budget chair Lisa Herbold unveiled her first-round “balancing package” of Council-proposed changes to the Mayor’s 2018 budget. And it was not without controversy.
Another week of budget deliberations…