UPDATE: County Council’s budget chair shelves County Executive’s arts-access tax

3:36 PM: One month after County Executive Dow Constantine proposed a sales-tax increase to pay for increased arts/culture access, the County Council’s budget chair says he’s shelved it. South King County-representing Councilmember Dave Upthegrove pulled the proposal from the agenda for a committee meeting tomorrow, “effectively killing” it, according to a subsequent news release, which quotes Upthegrove as saying, “This is the wrong proposal at the wrong time. As currently configured, the funding is distributed in an unfair manner that hurts, rather than helps, our efforts to achieve equity.” He says he’d be willing to reconsider it next year.

5:16 PM: Responding to our request for comment from or on behalf of Constantine, Deputy County Executive Sung Yang told WSB that the executive is not giving up hope of getting it onto the August ballot. He noted that three councilmembers co-sponsored it, and that there’s still time to take action by May 1st to let voters decide its fate in August.

11 Replies to "UPDATE: County Council's budget chair shelves County Executive's arts-access tax"

  • Barb April 11, 2017 (4:40 pm)

    I feel we offer so much for so many right now. Our taxes are driving people at of Seattle at a huge rate. As I senior I am quite concerned about being able to stay in WS.

  • My two cents ... April 11, 2017 (5:09 pm)

    While I agree that the timing was not great for this  proposal,  we can’t forget to support these types of efforts as they do contribute to the overall livability and contributes to a growing and progressive community.

  • M April 11, 2017 (5:23 pm)

    So sad. I don’t think people realize how important the arts and sciences are for the development of young people. There is already such a divide between those that can afford access to local cultural activities and those that can’t. 

    Why are or politicians so quick to raise taxes to enable drug users in our community yet do nothing to enrich he lives of young people.

    It’s access to a rich and vibrant cultural community that will prevent the next generation of drug users and criminals. I’d rather make the investment today then have to pay for more safe injection sites and homeless trash cleanups in the future. 

  • TheKing April 11, 2017 (6:57 pm)

    The cost of living in Seattle isn’t worth it. At the rate property taxes are going, I will be paying monthly what I used to pay in a full year when my house is paid off. When I drive to work on shabby roads and a third world environment, you see the money being wasted. 

  • thee April 11, 2017 (8:19 pm)

    But let’s keep pushing that regular wheelbarrow of cash over to our new developer pals. 

    strong work, everyone!


  • millie April 11, 2017 (9:02 pm)

    One can’t disagreed that arts and sciences are important in the development of young minds. I can remember the field trips in grade school to hear the symphony and the special theater productions for children.  Family finances were tight but my parents somehow managed to provide us with these opportunities. I, personally,  support our arts/cultural community within my capabilities.

    My concern, however,  is our elected officials constantly going back to the property tax/sales tax trough for more and more dollars.  At some point it has to stop!  Our elected officials need to be more accountable to the voters in their budget and programmatic priorities.  If you  have limited resources, get the “most bang for your buck” for projects impacting the most people (i.e. infrastructure construction/repair, fire/police response/protection, etc., etc.).  Unfortunately, even with all the rain, money does not grow on trees.   

  • flimflam April 11, 2017 (9:10 pm)

    I think this tax is being shelved to encourage another one upcoming…

  • Paul April 11, 2017 (9:40 pm)

    Thank you Dave Upthegrove for your leadership. Many lower-income people in our community simply cannot afford to pay more sales taxes that is now already 10%. The arts are certainly a worthwhile initiative but there are other, less regressive funding mechanisms. Government simply cannot fund everything. 

  • WsEd April 11, 2017 (9:56 pm)


    The politicians in this region are increasingly out of touch with their constituency.  My personal taxes have gone up on the order of thousands in the last 5 years.  But hey at least I have the nice view of all the tents RVs and garbage now.

  • DarkHawke April 11, 2017 (10:36 pm)

    Time was we didn’t spend NEAR as much on education at any level, yet we lead the world in technological invention and innovation for decades.  If we’re no longer getting the same results, isn’t it sensible to be sure the money we’re already spending is being used wisely before we throw yet more of our hard-earned at the problem?  We’re vastly more in need of education reform than more education taxes.

  • Steve April 11, 2017 (10:45 pm)

    Wow!  Refreshing that common sense may be making a comeback!  Please let it permeate to the council and hopefully to “former” mayor Eddie!

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