Update: Governor visits the area, explains annexation tax-credit change

2:49 PM: Governor Gregoire was scheduled to spend today touring the state to talk about her “supplemental budget” proposal – but canceled most of the stops because of the stormy weather. The exception: She’s scheduled to visit South Seattle Community College in West Seattle this afternoon. One of the budget components of most interest to White Center and vicinity: While the original list of possible budget cuts included potential elimination of the sales-tax credit that helped Burien afford the annexation of part of North Highline, she is now officially proposing cutting the credit by only 10 percent:

Reduce annexation sales tax credit by 10 percent – $1.4 million

Reduces by 10 percent distributions from a tax credit that benefits seven cities in King, Pierce or Snohomish counties. Under the credit, cities that annexed an area with a population of at least 10,000 are allowed to retain 0.2 percent of the state’s sales tax generated in the city to fund the cost of extending city services to the annexed area.

As Burien City Manager Mike Martin told the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council earlier this month, the idea of killing the credit was “no slam dunk.” However, the Legislature will have the final say on the governor’s suggestion – whether they accept, reject, or change it.

ADDED 6:35 PM: During a media Q/A session after the governor’s event with students, we asked what changed her mind about the annexation tax credit. On video, you’ll hear her answer – starting with what cities told her, and what she decided to do instead.

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