The Redmond City Council voted 5-2 on Tuesday to approve the $581-million 2013-2014 biennial budget. Council members David Carson and Hank Myers voted "no," saying they do not support a proposed 1-percent property tax increase.
Myers said the increase was "entirely unnecessary" because the city ended the last biennium with a $10-million surplus.
"It's not necessary to raise taxes to do everything that we would like to do," he said.
The 1-percent increase will translate to a $6 bump for the average Redmond household, according to council member Kim Allen. She and council member John Stilin presented the increase as a responsible action, with Allen arguing that spreading out small increases over time rather than hitting residents with a sudden increase in a tough economic situation has helped the city maintain its AAA bond rating.
"That saves every body money," Allen said. "I think it's a matter of paying as we go."
Some council members said they were especially happy the final project includes a $50,000 increase in support for social services and money for the 166th Avenue Northeast re-channelization, a transportation project that has been awaiting funding for quite some time.
Carson and Myers motioned to divide out the property tax ordinance from the rest of the budget package, but their proposal was voted down 3-4.
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