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Read Josh’s plan to fix the budget mess

Tax increases should be the last resort, not the first option.

The council is now looking at a 6% utility tax increase, new $20 car tab fees, and additional property tax hikes. I don’t think this “taxes first” approach is right. I believe there's a better way forward.

Sammamish faces financial challenges due to mismanagement by our elected officials. I’m Josh Amato, and I’m asking for your vote for City Council so I can fix the budget mess.

Since 2020, the Council raised property taxes by 12% and then voted to overspend tax revenues by $5 million in the last budget. This placed our community on a precarious path. They’re now looking at a 6% utility tax increase, new $20 car tab fees, and additional property tax hikes. I don’t think this “taxes first” approach is right. I believe there’s a better way forward.

I’ve met too many retired couples who expressed genuine concern about the rising costs, fearing they may be forced to leave the homes they’ve cherished for decades. I also spoke with a single mother who moved to Sammamish to ensure her children receive an excellent education, but mounting expenses are making it increasingly challenging. She isn’t alone.

I won’t forget about these conversations. I’m committed to responsible budgeting and fiscal accountability. Here are a few things I pledge to do differently than the current Council:

  1. Craft a budget prioritizing spending so you aren’t forced to choose between paying higher taxes or cutting public safety and vital services.
  • Push for performance measurements so our city programs are accountable for delivering on their promises.
  • Meticulously review expenses for efficiency. For instance, why are we paying pre-pandemic janitorial costs when many city employees are now working hybrid schedules?
  • Safeguard our rainy-day fund for true emergencies and only consider tax increases when all other options have been thoroughly exhausted.

Your voice is invaluable. You can contact me directly at (253) 722-9089. Remember to return your ballot by November 7. Thank you for considering me as your advocate on the City Council.