ORIGINAL 11:15 AM POST: Just started in the King County Council chambers. Live on cable channel 22 (and online). This is where they are to vote on approving the budget for, and reauthorizing the property-tax levy to run, the King County Ferry District, parent agency of the Elliott Bay Water Taxi (and Seattle-Vashon passenger ferry). 11:34 AM UPDATE: The Ferry District’s $19 million budget for next year has just passed – with councilmembers (sitting as Ferry District directors) noting that it’s reduced from the original plan, because it will include the same levy level as this year, instead of seeking the one percent increase allowable by state law. Adding a few more details shortly. 12:01 PM UPDATE: A full news release is expected shortly, at which time we’ll post separately. In the short run – King County Councilmember Dow Constantine‘s staff explains the tax-rate decision actually means a reduction from this year: The total amount to be collected is the same as last year, so with an increased amount of taxpayers, that means a small drop in the rate. Water Taxi fares will stay the same as this year, and the budget includes more than $2 million for dock improvements at Seacrest (which may not wind up costing that much), which will be discussed in the January 15th public meeting we first reported here a week ago.
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