Four Bainbridge Islanders were appointed to committees this week to write statements for the Kitsap County Voters Pamphlet supporting and opposing the "Connecting Bainbridge: SAFE Mobility Levy” that will be on the November ballot. The committees include:
Pro Committee: Loanne Harmeling, Herbert Hethcote, Jon Quitslund
Con Committee: Doug Rauh
The City received five applications for the Pro Committee and members were selected in a random drawing, as there is a limit of three members per committee. Doug Rauh was the only applicant for the Con committee.
The Pro and Con Committees will prepare written arguments and rebuttals on the ballot measure. Each committee’s statements for the Voters Pamphlet are a maximum of 250 words and are due to Kitsap County Elections on August 13. The rebuttal statements are limited to 75 words and are due by August 20. Please see pages 14-15 of the 2018 Candidate and Measures Guidelines book for specifications.
If passed by the voters, the levy lid lift will raise $15 million over seven years to pay for non-motorized transportation projects that would include: building new trails and safe routes to schools, sidewalk improvements and shoulder widening. A small percentage would be used as an “opportunity bucket” for any opportunities that may arise during the seven-year period. A group of Islanders, who represent multiple Island demographics, would choose the projects to be built using the ballot proposition funding.
The estimated increase to the property tax rate is $0.28/$1,000 of assessed value. If the levy is approved, the owner of a $660,000 home (median value) would pay $185 in property taxes per year over a seven-year period.
The City Council convened a citizen task force in 2017 and asked this group to examine options and provide recommendations for funding transportation infrastructure improvements on Bainbridge Island.
At the June 5, 2018 Council Study Session, the task force presented its recommendations for non-motorized transportation improvements to the Council. The recommendations included $15 million in new revenue to be dedicated to non-motorized transportation. The Council then identified a property tax lid lift as the preferred method to raise the $15 million over a period of seven years. A property tax lid lift is a voter-approved increase in property taxes above the one percent increase limit set by state law.
At the Council's June 19 Study Session, the Council conducted the first reading of a property tax lid lift ordinance and discussed the option of placing a levy lid lift proposition on the ballot in the fall of 2018.
During the July 24 City Council Business Meeting, the Council approved Resolution 2018-21 that explains how the funds raised by the ballot measure will be used and how the public will be involved in making decisions on the use of ballot measure funds.