Issaquah has frustrating transportation congestion and dangerous safety problems we need to fix.
Prop #1 is how we can chip away at our transportation “to do list” every year – doing so in a way that doesn’t break the taxpayer’s backs.
It’s Issaquah’s top priority to continually do what we can to fix it.
That’s why we are hoping you’ll support the “Our Prop One”, down the ballot.
We’re asking you to pay about $165 – $14 a month for the average family — for all of us to help improve four of our local transportation problems.
To help pass this much-needed bond, we will need a 60% YES vote.
One of the concerns supporters of this ballot measure have is that this measure will be on the backside of your ballot. Make sure you finish and get to “OUR Prop#1 Issaquah” near the end of the ballot. Note, that there is another transportation measure called Prop #1 which is the regional Prop #1 Sound Transit 3 measure. Please make sure you vote yes on our transportation bond.
PLEASE CONSIDER A CONTRIBUTION TO HELP US PROVIDE EVERY VOTER
WITH THE INFORMATION ABOUT PROP #1.
HOW DID WE GET THIS WAY?
Issaquah is bounded by natural features:
the Issaquah Alps, Lake Sammamish, and the Sammamish Plateau.
Issaquah is bisected by a major interstate highway, I-90, that services the major population centers of Seattle and Bellevue.
What we want you to know:
- Our geography focuses regional traffic through our town.
- Our proximity to major job centers causes the regional traffic to strain our roadways.
- Our City is addressing the regional traffic problems by working with King County, the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, Sound Transit, and our state and federal elected representatives.
ISSAQUAH POPULATION FACTS
- Issaquah’s population grew from 11,205 in 2000, to 30,434 in 2010, for a change of 19,229, or 172%
- The population grew by 4,156 between 2010 and 2016, or 14%
- The explosive growth between 2000 and 2010 was driven primarily by the annexation of South Cove, and the build-out of the Talus and Highlands neighborhoods.
- Since 2010, Issaquah has grown at roughly the same rate as the nearby cities of Bellevue (14%), Redmond (12%), and North Bend (15%) during that same time.
- Other nearby cities have grown significantly faster than Issaquah since 2010: Kirkland (74%), Sammamish (34%), and Snoqualmie, (23%).
NEWPORT WAY NORTHWEST PROJECT
Improvements of Newport Way from Southeast 54th Street to State Route 900.
NEWPORT WAY: MAPLE TO SUNSET PROJECT
Needed work on East Sunset Way from First Avenue to Sixth Avenue.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
- HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
- HOW DO WE KNOW THE BOND DOLLARS WILL GO FOR WHAT WE WERE TOLD?
- A GOOD TIME TO GET BETTER RATES
- TRANSPARENCY AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT
- GROWTH PAYING FOR GROWTH - DEVELOPER IMPACT FEES
The package would pay for the issuance and selling of bonds, and associated fees.
If this measure is approved, no more than $50 million of bonds will be issued. The annual property taxes per household necessary to repay the bonds will depend upon interest rates; the timing of the issue and amount of the bonds issued; and changes in property values.
This transportation bond would be payable by excess annual property tax levies (if approved by voters). The City estimates an annual property tax rate of 33 cents per $1,000 of assessed value over the 25-year life of the bonds. At that rate, the additional taxes on a home assessed at $500,000 would be $165; at $600,000, the add-on would be $198; and the owner of a $700,000 home would pay $231. Assessed values are recalculated each year by King County. Passage of an excess tax levy requires a voter participation level of 40 percent of voters who participated in the last general election and 60 percent approval of the measure.
HOW DO WE KNOW THE BOND DOLLARS WILL GO FOR WHAT WE WERE TOLD?
The last time that Issaquah went to the voters with a bond package, it was for a parks bond five years ago. The City has been reluctant to stack issues back-to-back, year after year as it realizes the spending limits people have. However, given the traffic problems growing and the frustration being felt by Issaquah families, the City believe that this bond is reasonable in scope, much-needed, and affordable.
The best answer for “How will we know we are getting what we voted for?” can be found in the parks bond approved by more than 70% of the voters back in 2011.
A GOOD TIME TO GET BETTER RATES
This is a very opportune time to do “infrastructure” spending – as there are low interest rates and the funding is readily available to a City like Issaquah which has a very high bond rating making our interest rates even less. These rates will only get more expensive over time. Despite the fact that no one like – or wants to pay more in property taxes – now is a good time given market conditions and rates. Although these will bring acknowledged costs to landowners, the relief we hope will happen in reduced stress in navigating our roads, will be worth the cost.
TRANSPARENCY AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT
Over five city public hearings have been held to discuss our proposed Prop #1with the vast majority of participants weighting in that the four projects are needed and necessary to improving day to day life here in the City. Those with concerns expressed counter design ideas which were also helpful to the overall understanding of what neighbors want.
Your dollars are not the only way the City pays for transportation improvements: there are many grants the City gets (federal, state and county) and given the amount of constant development you see, there are “developer impact funds” – payments made by those who are developing projects which may impact our roads and parks.
GROWTH PAYING FOR GROWTH – DEVELOPER IMPACT FEES
Every new resident and every new job that comes to our city as a result of new construction has some impact on our existing transportation system, as well as on our parks, schools, police, and fire service. They put more cars, more trips onto the roads. State law allows, and Issaquah collects impact fees from developers to pay into a transportation account. The money accumulated in this account is used to pay for both motorized and non-motorized improvements to our infrastructure. In 2015, the City significantly raised impact fees across the board. Now new homes, office parks, stores, restaurants, and more pay fees at a level in line with the demand they put on our roads. These fees had been previously set in 2006, and analysis showed that they were way too low! Now that this has been corrected, it is fair to say that growth is paying for its impact to our City!