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Published on Friday, January 18, 2013

AWC weighs in on state budget proposal

On the first day of session, AWC provided comments on former Governor Gregoire’s state budget proposal to the House Appropriations Committee. Specifically, we voiced three concerns:

  1. Dramatic cuts to state-shared liquor revenue: Gregoire’s proposed budget retains the $49.4 million annual liquor profit distributions to cities and counties required under Initiative 1183, but eliminates the local share of liquor taxes – approximately $25 million annually – and redirects them to the state general fund. Cities will strongly oppose any efforts to further reduce liquor revenues and, in fact, will be advocating for legislation that restores the cuts made last session.
  2. Raiding the Public Works Trust Fund: This important infrastructure loan fund helps cities provide construction jobs and build and maintain infrastructure for economic development across our state. The proposal redirects $100 million from this account to the state general fund.
  3. Jeopardizing environmental clean-ups: The proposal also transfers $21 million from the Local Toxics Control Account – used primarily for grants to local governments for stormwater projects and toxic cleanups – to the state general fund.

As we reported in our summary of the former Governor’s budget proposal, it is unclear what, if anything, Governor Inslee or the Legislature will support from her proposal, but it is a reminder of what is at stake for cities this session.

Categories: State budget
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