By Erin Freeman | Press Release
At the November 9 business meeting, the Lynnwood City Council held two public hearings on the proposed 2021-22 biennium budget and 2021 property tax levy.
The City of Lynnwood’s Finance Director Sonja Springer presented the council with the second public hearing on Mayor Nicola Smith’s proposed 2021-22 biennium budget. The proposed preliminary budget was first presented on September 14, with the first public hearing on budget priorities on September 28.
Mayor Smith’s preliminary budget proposes general fund expenditures totaling $112,176,210, a reduction of $7,786,102, or a 6.4% reduction from budgeted 2019-20 general fund expenditures. City departments have planned for respective cuts to balance out the budget’s reduction.
The mayor’s proposed 2020-21 biannual budget includes a flat property tax of $4.3 million for collection, which is a difference of zero between the two years. Yet it will result in a decrease in property tax expenses for the average home by $1.49. This renders into a levy rate of 54 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, 3 cents lower than the 2020 levy rate of 57 cents.
“For 2021 the proposed property tax levy is flat, it’s the same as what it was in 2020,” said Springer. We don’t want our residents to suffer and pay higher property taxes that are already suffering enough.”
The city is scheduled to adopt both the property tax levy and the budget ordinance on November 23.
The city also made a proclamation celebrating Veteran’s Day on November 11, 2020, honoring all those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
“The City of Lynnwood has a strong commitment to making Lynnwood a Veteran supportive city where Veterans and their families can learn live, work, play, recreate, educate and thrive,” said councilmember Shannon Smith, reading the proclamation.
The council also confirmed the re-appointments of members of the Parks & Recreation Board, Arts Commission, History & Heritage Board and Human Services Commission. Three new members were appointed to various boards and commissions- Baba Darboe and Whitney Stohr to the Parks and Recreation Board, and Eric Amundson to the Tourism Advisory Committee.
The council finished off the night unanimously approving an ordinance providing for the granting of land use extensions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is really to make allowances in understanding that COVID has impacted the public’s ability to access public services in a meaningful way and has, in large part, delayed a lot of project administrative function,” explained Councilmember Ian Cotton. “This is the city’s response to that, to extend a lot of those codify deadlines to make allowances for people… to give them peace of mind and also not negatively impact their project.
Future Lynnwood City Council Business Meetings, Work Sessions and Committee Meetings can be streamed live by the public at https://www.youtube.com/user/CityofLynnwood/live.