StoryMetropolitan King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert issued the following statement today on her position on the current tax proposal to put a .2% sales tax increase on the August ballot:
“With these challenging economic times come challenging decisions. Unemployment is over 9 percent and like many of you, I have family members and many friends who are without employment. We should not increase taxes on individuals and businesses until we have had the tough conversations about labor contract concessions, lowering other taxes to offset a criminal justice tax, looking for new business models to create efficiencies, and engaging our taxpayers in a discussion about what services they expect and how they want to pay for them.
“Many jurisdictions across the country are looking to reshape how government is provided by bringing in new technologies, restructured business models, and looking to employees for suggestions on new ways of streamlining procedures in order to create greater efficiencies. The time has come for King County to have these same conversations. Once we have had these discussions and make changes in how we deliver services more efficiently, then we will be able to build a trusting and transparent government that people all across King County can be proud of.
“The job before us this year is to find sustainable ways to balance our expenditures with available revenues. I applaud the King County Executive for bringing forth the idea of defining our revenue needs. There are many great services that we enjoy in King County, and we need to find a way to keep them sustainable and protect our quality of life. The county needs to engage our citizens and businesses to find ideas and strategies that can help us serve the regional and local needs of our communities in a more efficient manner.
“More work needs to be done. The rush to get this current sales tax proposal on the ballot did not give us enough time to do the reprioritization that is needed in King County government. Because of this, I will be voting NO on the current tax proposal for the August ballot.”