BDA and Chamber Advocate Joint Message to City Council Regarding Budget Challenges and Opportunities

September 22, 2020 - by Matt Jack


Category: What's Happening

BDA and Chamber Advocate Joint Message to City Council Regarding Budget Challenges and Opportunities

On Sept. 21, the BDA and Bellevue Chamber of Commerce presented a joint message to City Council about the 2021-2022 City budget as a part of the second online public hearing on the subject. Information gathered at the hearing informs the City Manager's work to draft a preliminary budget that itemizes expenditures and revenue sources. Due to lower-than-expect sales and B&O tax revenue caused by the pandemic, the City faces a major shortfall this budget cycle. Coupled with Bellevue's need to build capacity and support growth, this budgetary challenge becomes more complicated as the City seeks to maintain core services and capital investments.

Keeping Bellevue Strong
Members of the BDA and Chamber worked closely over the span of three weeks to examine the budget challenges and identify steps address the shortfall. The BDA's Board of Directors and Chamber's Policy Council approved a set of recommendation from a joint Task Force which carefully examined the budget issues. The overarching theme of the joint message is to Keep Bellevue Strong by bolstering resiliency to ensure Bellevue is positioned to swiftly recover from the recession. And to achieve this thematic goal, the BDA and Chamber advocated that the City must remain financially stable while maintaining current levels of core services and continuing capital investments that will add capacity necessary to support projected growth.

To guide Council towards this goal, the BDA and Chamber recommend support for the following two categories:

  1. Investment Priorities - list of core services necessary in this economic climate and capital projects that support growth. 
  2. Bridge the Gap - set of cost saving approaches and revenue tools for addressing the shortfall.

Read the joint BDA and Chamber letter to City Council for more details.

Next Steps
The City Manager's Office will release the Preliminary Budget sometime in October. A third and final public hearing will be held this fall (date TBD) to inform Council on any major changes. Council will adopt the final budget in December (date TBD). The BDA will measure the Joint recommendations against the Preliminary Budget once released. If analysis suggests that the joint message didn't influence Preliminary Budget, then the BDA and Chamber will prepare to comment at the third public hearing.

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