The North Bend City Council discussed possible proper tax and General Facilities Charge increases. File Photo

The North Bend City Council discussed possible proper tax and General Facilities Charge increases. File Photo

North Bend council talks wastewater facility funding, 2019 property tax

North Bend city council discussed 2019 property taxes rates and a general facility charge increase.

At a Nov. 6 meeting, the North Bend city council discussed possible increases to property tax rates for 2019, a general facility charge increase, and a future park plan amendment.

The council began with a public hearing and ordinance updating the sewer general facility charges (GFC) and amending taxes, rates and fees schedule. The GFC is paid by sewer customers to support maintenance and improvement of the system. The proposed change is an increase of 43 percent over the current GFC charge. In the city’s example, one equivalent residential unit pays $8,400, that cost would rise to $12,020.

The GFC is proposed to be increased because wastewater facilities improvement project costs have risen from a projected $15.6 million in 2016 to $25 million in 2018.

In 2016, the city council adjusted the GFC along with a sewer rate adjustment. In that same year, the city completed its wastewater system facilities plan that outlined $15.6 million in improvement projects within the following five-year period.

In discussion, councilmember Martin Volken asked staff why the rising costs were not foreseen earlier. Since the plan was first completed in 2016, several factors have increased the price of construction. Trade wars increasing the price of steel and concrete were one of the reasons cited in the meeting. In addition the original facilities plan only included projects within the next five years. The new update will include additional projects on the longer term schedule in order for the city to be able to capture funding and avoid a huge GFC increase in the future.

Councilmember Trevor Kostanich asked about possible discounts or incentive for commercial use to promote business growth in the city. Councilmember Johnathan Rosen agreed, saying he is worried the perception of the city as a place for business would worsen further if the GFC increase is passed without considerations for businesses.

The council agreed that they want to see commercial incentives, but in order to make the changes in the ordinance the motion was tabled and sent back to committee. The council will return to discuss the ordinance at its Nov. 20 meeting.

The council also held a public hearing and discussion on the 2019 property tax levy. Staff presented two options to the council. One option is no increase over 2018’s property tax which would total $1,728,545 for the city. The second option is a 1-percent increase over the 2018 rate for a total of $1,745,056. The staff report notes the 2019 proposed budget was calculated with no increase assumed.

At the current rate, an average North Bend home valued at $450,000 would be assessed at $44 per month in 2019, which would actually be a decrease from $46 in 2018.

Because the assessed value will be lower next year, the 1 percent increase would have an overall impact of a 0.83 percent increase at $45 per month.

No public comment was made during the meeting. The council did not vote. The property tax levy will come before the council again at a meeting on Nov. 20.

The full city council agenda and video archive is available on the city’s website at

More in News

Snoqualmie considers helmet requirements on city parks

The city of Snoqualmie is considering city code requiring helmets for recreation on city property.

Valley residents file for November 2019 general election

Residents of Snoqualmie, North Bend and the Hospital and School Districts have… Continue reading

Ashley Hiruko/illustration
Susan’s quest for ‘justice’ and the civil legal system dilemma

Susan Chen’s story begins as a criminal matter. In 2013 she paid… Continue reading

North Bend City Council walks back water ordinance

North Bend will work to improve conservation education and revise proposed ordinance.

Bellevue College student arrested in Duvall for allegedly sending threatening email

The school evacuated the afternoon of May 16 and remained closed the rest of the day.

King County Councilman Reagan Dunn sent a letter to the FBI asking for them to help investigate Allan Thomas (pictured), who is under investigation for stealing more than $400,000 of public funds and skirting election laws in an Enumclaw drainage district. Screenshot from King 5 report
King County Council requests report on special districts in wake of fraud allegations

Small, local special districts will face more scrutiny following Enumclaw drainage district case.

The Marquee on Meeker Apartments, 2030 W. Meeker St. in Kent, will feature 492 apartments and 12,000 square feet of retail. The first phase of 288 apartments is expected to be completed in early 2020. Developers are targeting people in their 20s and 30s to rent their high-end, urban-style apartments. Steve Hunter/staff photo
Housing study pokes holes in conventional wisdom

High construction and land costs will incentivize developers to build luxury units.

Most Read