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Medina — home of Gates and Bezos — is running out of money

Bill Gates' home. (Photo: Derek Purdy, Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dpurdy/)

Medina is home to a few people that have done a bit well for themselves, like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, so it may be a bit surprising to hear that the city referred to as Lake Washington’s Gold Coast is having budget problems, and wants to raise taxes.

According to The Seattle Times, the city is projecting a $500,000 deficit in 2020 (and $3.3 million by 2025), unless a proposed tax hike on the November ballot is passed. The six-year levy would increase to 84 cents per $1,000 of assessed value (with an additional 5 percent increases each year), meaning that the owner of a $2 million home would pay $1,680 to the city.

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“They pay 64 cents for every $1,000 worth of assessed value on your home, and just by comparison that is among the lowest in the state,” said KIRO Radio’s Tom Tangney. “Bellevue’s is 92 cents and Redmond’s is $1.15. So right now Medina is paying very low, like half of what Redmond does, but they can’t raise it all in one fell swoop.”

If the measure passes Medina would add an additional $900,000 to the $2.8 million they currently bring in from property tax, bolstering their operating budget of $6.4 million.

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“One of the things about Medina is that they argue that their city is kind of misrepresented — when you’ve got the tech big shot Simonyi who has a $56.9 million house, Jon Shirley’s $42 million home, the Brotmans’ $26 million home — but most are poor people who can only afford $2 million homes in Medina,” Tom joked.

“The super rich are the outliers, it’s just the generally rich that would have to pay for this,” he added.

What would Medina lose if the measure doesn’t pass? Likely their harbor patrol enforcement, lifeguards, and the refreshment budget for city-related meetings, among other services.

Listen to the Tom and Curley Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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