Tomorrow morning, Mayor Durkan will unveil another of her 2020 budget initiatives: increasing the tax on Uber and Lyft rides in the city. In combination with that, she will announce a proposal to institute a minimum wage for Uber and Lyft drivers.
This afternoon, Mayor Durkan unveiled the first in a series of initiatives in her 2020 budget: a $1.7 million, twelve-point plan to address the Seattle Police Department’s issues with hiring and retention.
In their second major rift this week, today the City Council and Mayor Durkan fired accusations at each other over how to handle revenues from the Sweetened Beverage Tax (aka the “soda tax”) and the Short-term Rental Tax (aka the “AirBnB tax”).
This morning, the City Council’s Budget Committee received a briefing on the revenue outlook for the rest of 2019 and beyond, as well as the overall financial condition of city government. The theme running under all of it: winter is coming.
This afternoon, the City Budget Office delivered a mid-stream budget update to its revenue forecasts for 2018-2020. Little has changed in the last two months, and that’s bad news for the City Council as it deliberates on the budget for the next two years.
In June of 2017 the City Council passed a sales tax on sweetened beverages, to take effect on January 1, 2018. Now, with some initial data in hand, the Mayor and City Council are deciding how to spend the tax revenues over the next two years. But things haven’t turned out the way the experts predicted, raising questions about whether the “soda tax” was such a good idea in the first place. It equally raises questions about the motives of the city officials charting the tax’s future.
On October 3, the Mayor’s Office walked through for the City Council the parts of the proposed budget related to responding to the homelessness crisis, which span several departments. Let’s dive into the details.
We tend to focus all our attention on the spending side of the city budget, but the revenue side is equally important: you need to know how much money you have to spend before you can effectively plan to spend it. Let’s take a look at the city’s revenue sources, and the bottom line.