Seattle council approves projected sales tax rise to support arts access

Posted on: May 2, 2017

“The Metropolitan King County Council Monday revived a sales-tax increase to expand access to the arts Monday, voting 7-2 to place the measure on the August primary ballot,” writes Lynn Thompson in Monday’s (3/1) Seattle Times. “The 0.1 percent tax, or 1 penny per $10 spent, is expected to generate $67 million a year and would go toward arts, culture and science programs, with more than 300 organizations receiving money.… Late amendments that created funding and cultural centers for areas of the county outside of Seattle helped win passage of the bill. Councilmembers Dave Upthegrove and Larry Gossett opposed the measure, questioning whether the arts are the highest priority in the region and whether the 34 best-funded organizations in the county, such as the Woodland Park Zoo and the Seattle Symphony, would get the most funding.… But supporters of the tax measure changed the appropriation plan so that each council district, including rural ones, would receive a minimum of $1 million, which could go to support the creation of new arts organizations and to bring programs to the outlying areas.… Denver and St. Louis have enacted special taxes to support arts and culture, and both have proved popular with voters.”

Posted May 2, 2017