Council Gearing up for Oly


It's that time again. The Seattle City Council is mulling its priorities for yet another legislative session, set to get underway next month in Olympia. Because this session is a short one, 60 days beginning Jan. 14, the city will likely stay away from the big stuff related to transportation and education and focus on a few key issues like annexation and affordable housing.

Specifically, Seattle's looking for a sales tax credit that would help it afford taking in White Center and the rest of unincorporated North Highline. But word is the governor's already saying she's lukewarm to the idea given the multi-million dollar price tag and her aversion to spending during the short, supplemental budget session.

The city's also going to work a curious bill that would give a business and occupation tax credit to employers who provide housing assistance-- like a down payment on a home purchase-- to their employees. And Seattle's going for round two with a bill that would increase protections for renters when their apartments are converted to condos. This idea got stuck last year due to heartburn over a provision that would've given cities the option of capping the number of condo conversions. But city lobbyists plan to push hard this time around, and are hopeful they can at least get the protections portion, which includes mandatory notice and financial compensation, passed.

Council will finalize its Olympia wish list Monday.

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