1. Bellevue City Council Unanimously Adopts City Budget
Bellevue City Council unanimously adopted the 2020-21 Operating Budget yesterday. The budget balances preserving public safety and closing a $16 million budget deficit without imposing new taxes.
City Manager Brad Miyake said the budget “balances Bellevue’s history of fiscal responsibility with the needs of residences and businesses during this difficult time. This budget continues to fund the delivery of critical services in areas of public safety, public health…and continues to maintain and build upon the basic capital infrastructure of the city to prepare us to meet the growth challenges coming at the city.”
The Bellevue Chamber and Bellevue Downtown Association worked closely with the city through the budgeting process and supported its adoption. We applaud the Council, City Manager, and the various city departments for the positive process and promising outcome even in difficult times.
2. Back to Class
The youngest learners in the Bellevue School District are headed back to class in late January. The district is welcoming back kindergarten, first, and second grade students to in-person instruction sometime next month. The welcomed announcement came as the state considers changes to guidance on school openings, and as many Eastern Washington school districts have been fully in-person for several months.
3. Eastside Businesses May Fall Under Seattle's Payroll Tax
In July, the Seattle City Council imposed a payroll expense tax on persons engaged in business in Seattle. The tax is imposed on organizations with at least $7 million of payroll expense within city limits. Last week, the Seattle Chamber of Commerce filed suit against Seattle declaring that the City did not have authorization from the State to collect such a tax.
The City is in active rule-making to determine many of the details of the tax. One of the many items of concern is the City's attempt to tax non-Seattle businesses. If an employee works more than 50% of their hours from home, and they live within the City of Seattle, their employer is arguably subject to the tax. It's unclear how many companies will be captured by this rule. The Bellevue Chamber is actively engaging on this issue and is exploring its options in representing Eastside businesses in challenging this provision.
Bellevue Chamber Executive Circle Member, Clark Nuber, provides a detailed analysis of the new tax.
4. 2021 Transportation Priorities
The City of Bellevue and Bellevue Chamber cooperated in forming a joint transportation agenda for the upcoming legislative session in Olympia. The priority projects are designed to accommodate Bellevue's growth and increased demand for a truly multimodal, smart, and well-integrated transportation network. The Chamber and City have held several joint meetings with key legislators who are expected to offer statewide transportation infrastructure proposals next year.
+ 1 Session is Coming
East King Chambers Legislative Breakfast
Wednesday, January 6, 2021 | 7:30 - 9:00 am
The East King Chambers Coalition Legislative Kickoff is one of the biggest political events of the year.
This year, we are proud to welcome Washington's recently re-elected Secretary of State, Kim Wyman, as our keynote speaker.
Following Kim's address, we'll be joined by leaders from each of the four corners for an interactive session moderated by award-winning journalist from Q13, Brandi Kruse.
Then choose your own adventure between three panels of legislators focusing on Economic Revitalization, moderated by Former Governor Gary Locke; Transportation, moderated by Renton City Councilmember Ed Prince; and Affordable Housing, moderated by Microsoft's Jane Broom.