0203 legislative priorities

The state legislative session began Jan. 11 and ends April 25.

Developing ways to help cities counter the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic tops the City of Anacortes’ legislative priorities for 2021.

The Anacortes City Council adopted its priorities list Jan. 25. Resolution 3014 will guide the city’s lobbying during the session of the state Legislature, which began Jan. 11 and ends April 25.

According to the resolution, the city will push the Legislature to:

• Restore and enhance revenue-sharing partnerships to fund critical community needs. Revenue sources include liquor excise tax, municipal criminal justice assistance, fire insurance premium tax, and marijuana excise tax.

• Develop additional resources to address housing instability created by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including rent assistance and foreclosure/eviction prevention assistance.

• Adopt a transportation revenue package that provides funding for maintenance and preservation, and provides an equitable level of local funding as well as additional local revenue options for cities.

• Provide cities greater flexibility to use funds from existing revenue sources — such as real estate excise tax, criminal justice sales tax, and lodging taxes — to manage the impacts of the economic downturn.

— The City Council removed from its final list of legislative priorities support for SB 5012, which would establish a tax on short-term rentals; and HB 1035, which would create tax exemptions for affordable housing. The Anacortes American mistakenly reported support for that legislation was included in the final list of legislative priorities.  

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