Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess unveiled an initial package of additions and cuts to Mayor Ed Murray’s proposed 2017-18 budget.
Shut down Seattle’s existing bike-share system. Bring back community-service police officers. Help residents of a closing Lake City trailer park relocate. And boost juror pay from $10 to $25 per day in municipal court.increase in 2018.
Those are just a few of the actions the City Council may take by making additions and cuts to Mayor Ed Murray’s proposed budget for 2017-18.
Councilmember Tim Burgess, who chairs the budget committee, unveiled an initial package of changes to the mayor’s plan Wednesday.
The 104 changes would mean a $16.4 million net increase to Murray’s budget in 2017 and a $3.9 million net increase in 2018.
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The council generally adds and cuts only around the edges of what the mayor draws up.
The budget plan Murray set out in September totals about $5.6 billion per year, including more than $1.2 billion in annual general-fund spending.
Council members reviewed the potential changes during a budget-committee meeting Wednesday and will deliberate again next week before voting later this month.
Further adds and cuts could find their way into the discussion in the meantime, including a likely proposal by Councilmember Kshama Sawant to create $160 million worth of affordable housing by eliminating money being held for a possible new North Precinct police station and using financing previously identified for that project.
The vast majority of the changes in the initial package are adds, such as $200,000 in 2017 and $1.8 million in 2018 to restart the community-service officer program discontinued in 2004.
Under the program, civilians were hired to help police officers by mediating neighborhood disputes, making social-services referrals and patrolling.
Another add would allocate $190,000 in 2017 for relocation assistance to residents of University Trailer Park.
One of just a few potential cuts would reduce funding for the Pronto bike-share system by $300,000 in 2017 and $600,000 in 2018, resulting in a shutdown of the existing system soon.
Transportation officials are working toward launching a new system with different bikes.
The council is working with more money than Murray because the mayor used revenue projections based on actual revenues only through July.
New projections suggest the city will bring in millions of dollars more than previously thought this year and the next two.
The council’s changes could also generate new revenues.
Burgess wants to bump the city’s marijuana-business license fee from $1,000 to $3,410, for example. The change would garner $430,000 in 2017, but several marijuana-store operators spoke against it Wednesday.
And Sawant wants to get rid of a special business-and-occupation tax rate Seattle began giving to international investment-management companies in 2009.
Her change would mean $2 million more for the city next year.