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King County moves ahead with sales tax for homeless housing

Bellevue and several other cities passed their own 0.1% sales tax, bypassing the county’s collection of the revenue for its homelessness plan.

SEATTLE — The Metropolitan King County Council has voted to implement a 0.1% sales tax to pay for housing for people who have been chronically homeless, even after some cities in the county dropped out of the plan by quickly passing their own versions of the tax.

The council voted 8-1 to approve the 0.1% sales tax increase Tuesday, with Councilmember Reagan Dunn voting against the tax increase.

“The lack of adequate public process for this tax increase has created uncertainties for our suburban cities who were left behind by the speed of King County’s action at a time they’re already facing economic uncertainties due to the COVID-19 response,” Dunn said in a statement.

The Seattle Times reports on Monday evening, Bellevue passed its own 0.1% sales tax, bypassing the county’s collection of the revenue for its homelessness plan.

Bellevue joined North Bend, Maple Valley, Renton, Kent, Issaquah, Covington and Snoqualmie to pass a solo tax.

As a result, King County is now millions of dollars short of the original plan King County Executive Dow Constantine envisioned for housing 2,000 people who have a disability and have struggled with homelessness.