How did we get here?

Demands on police and fire keep increasing, while staffing has remained flat

The nature and complexity of police, fire and emergency medical services has increased over the past two decades. Increasing drug use, homelessness, mental illness, theft, cybercrime and school safety challenges and a growing population are straining the City’s resources, and funding is not keeping pace. 

firefighters vs incidents
Police Staffing

Drug-related crimes top list for police response

Police call type

Choices during Recession helped residents through a hard time, but hurt the City's budget

What's the 1% Levy Lid?

In Washington, taxing authorities are prohibited from raising property taxes by more than 1%, unless the public votes for a greater increase, called a "levy lid lift." This 1% increase creates a compounding effect over time because property tax increases are based on the amount of property taxes that were assessed in the prior year. The data shown here only include property tax revenue from the 1% lid. The data does not include other property tax revenue the City collects from the Safe Streets and Sidewalks levy or the Emergency Medical Services levy.

While Bothell residents were recovering from the economic hit of the 2008 Great Recession, the Bothell City Council chose not to take the 1% levy lid increase between 2007 and 2012. Because the annual 1% is calculated based on the previous year's property tax totals, the foregone revenue from 2007 to 2012 cannot be recovered. The cumulative difference of what was actually collected from 2007 to 2018 and what could have been collected is $4,528,015. 

1 percent Cumulative Impact
1 percent 2007 to 2018

Source data (Excel file) for public safety staffing and police services

Source data (Excel file) for 1% levy lid lift charts