2013 Legislative Agenda
The Fife City Council, on behalf of its residents and businesses urge the following of the Washington State Legislature:
Complete the SR 167 Corridor
Completion of State Route 167 between Puyallup (SR-161) and Tacoma (SR-509) as originally envisioned. Fife, along with other communities in the Puyallup and Kent valleys, make up the second largest distribution center on the West Coast. At great cost to the state and region this project has been languishing for most of the last four decades. Work has gone in fits and starts, and now is the time to finish what was started.
The existing highway transportation infrastructure is overburdened and cannot serve current or future demand which results in trucks and traffic diverting to local streets not designed or built to service such demand. Completion of SR-167, estimated to cost between $1.6 - $2.0 billion, will improve mobility by providing a direct link between the Kent and Puyallup River valleys to the Port of Tacoma, enhancing the efficiency and competitiveness of the South Sound throughout the region and around the world.
Completion of SR-167:
- Sustains global competitiveness of the State, region, and numerous Fife businesses
- Sustains and creates family wage jobs for the community, region, and around the state
- Increases safety in our communities and major transportation corridors
- Improves air quality by improving truck mobility
- Decreases traffic congestion on already crowded streets and highways
- Decreases wear and tear of locally funded streets and roadways
- Increases flood storage along Hylebos Creek through planned mitigation enhancements
We know what needs to be done, let's fix it for the future of everyone.
Fund Infrastructure - Capacity and Preservation
The inventory of state and local transportation infrastructure is aging and failing. A comprehensive funding package is needed that will:
- Fully fund TIB, FMSIB, PWTF, SRF
- Address failing state highways
- Fund the "Complete Streets" program
- Enhance the "Safe Routes to School" program
- Increase funding for bicycle, pedestrian and trail improvements
- Address funding shortfalls for arterial streets and local transportation needs
Maintain and Restore State Shared Revenues:
- Streamlined Sales Tax Mitigation
- State Shared Revenues - Reinstate local share of liquor profits
These are revenue sources especially important to cities because they fund basic services, most particularly public safety. Between the impacts of the economy and the change in sales tax sourcing, streamlined sales tax (SST), Fife continues to see a reduction of approximately 40% in sales tax revenues. While only partially mitigating the impact of SST, sales tax mitigation is a crucial back-stop for these impacts.
- Retain flexibility in the use of lodging tax dollars for operations and non-profits.
The City's partnership with the Fife Historical Society has provided for significant capital and cultural enhancements to the community. The Fife Harvest Festival has evolved into a major event with a regional draw.
Provide Assistance for Economic Revitalization
Authorize economic development tools proven to facilitate urban development and redevelopment.
- Establish a new round of Local Revitalization Financing
- Authorize tax increment financing authority for cities
- Provide grant funding to support the GMA update process
- Public disclosure - cities, including Fife have been severely impacted by the current lack of clarity and burdensome nature of the law, including case law, as it stands. One recent request in Fife led to $58,000 in costs, not including in-house labor.
- Legislative review of current tax breaks - provide for analysis of current tax breaks to targeted businesses and industries to determine whether they are working as intended and to the benefit of the public.
- Wire theft - develop a comprehensive statewide approach to address trade in stolen materials such as; wire, fittings, valves, and other recyclables. Thefts of wire associated with street lighting in Fife have resulted in cost of more than $20,000 to Fife taxpayers.
Do no Harm to Local Government
Cities have been asked to do more over the past several years than ever before. At the same time great effort has been made at the local level to streamline, consolidate, outsource, reduce services and economize. New regulations cost money to implement. As the legislature grapples with the budget challenges of the State, we ask that no new burdens be placed on cities, without adequate funding to mitigate impacts.