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2018 General Election Part 1: Local Sales Tax Edition

2018 General Election Part 1: Local Sales Tax Edition

November 13, 2018 by Steve Hawley
Category: Revenues , Elections

There were a number of interesting sales taxes on the ballot this year for public safety, transit, and TBDs, as well as Tacoma’s first-of-its-kind cultural access program. We’ll also briefly discuss I-1634, which prohibits local soda taxes but will have no impact on sales tax revenues.

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Trust: The Secret Ingredient in Your Budget Deliberations

Trust: The Secret Ingredient in Your Budget Deliberations

November 8, 2018 by Mike Bailey
Category: Budgets and Budgeting

Can trust building be a part of a local government's budget process? In this post Finance Consultant Mike Bailey argues that trust is a critical component to creating a high-functioning team that can then make the best possible decisions in how to serve their constituents. 

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Walking on Murky Waters: The New PRA Exemption for Religious Affiliation

Walking on Murky Waters: The New PRA Exemption for Religious Affiliation

November 5, 2018 by Sarah Doar
Category: Public Records Act

With the passage of HB 2097, the Washington State Legislature prohibited state or local agencies from providing personally identifiable information that could be used to create a federal religious affiliation, national origin, or ethnicity registry for law enforcement or immigration purposes. 

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A Summary of New Laws Addressing Elections in Washington State

A Summary of New Laws Addressing Elections in Washington State

November 1, 2018 by Linda Gallagher
Category: Elections

This blog post summarizes six new election laws passed during the 2018 legislative session.

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3 Ways to Make Your Public Plaza More Successful

3 Ways to Make Your Public Plaza More Successful

October 29, 2018 by Steve Butler
Category: Parks and Recreation

This blog post highlights three characteristics that will make your public gathering space more successful, including finding the right location, considering access to nearby buildings, and creating public programming to support plaza use.

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An Inquiry Response Sampler

An Inquiry Response Sampler

October 25, 2018 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Governance

This blog post is a grab bag of questions posed to MRSC's consultants through our Ask MRSC service. Covering broad but common local government concerns, the questions (and answers) should interest all our readers.

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Reported, Remote Sales Taxes Likely to Increase

Reported, Remote Sales Taxes Likely to Increase

October 22, 2018 by Mike Bailey
Category: Revenues

Washington local governments should see an increase in reported, remote sales taxes thanks to a recent landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair. This post provides an overview of the case and its potential impact locally. 

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Regulating Non-Commercial Temporary Signs During Election Season

Regulating Non-Commercial Temporary Signs During Election Season

October 15, 2018 by Jill Dvorkin
Category: Sign Control

This blog post will provide a brief refresher of how a jurisdiction may regulate temporary signs in a post-Reed v. Gilbert environment.

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An Introduction to Risk Management

An Introduction to Risk Management

October 15, 2018 by Roger Neal
Category: Management

In this blog, guest author Roger Neal examines the basic elements of local government risk management, including the benefits of risk management, risk assessment, prioritization, and the adoption of risk management response strategies.

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Using a Scavenger Hunt and Gamification to Unite a Growing City

Using a Scavenger Hunt and Gamification to Unite a Growing City

October 12, 2018 by Riley Sweeney
Category: Parks and Recreation , Public Participation

Guest author Riley Sweeney, Communications Officer/Recreation Coordinator for the City of Ferndale, writes about engaging city residents through game-playing via a scavenger hunt.

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New Legislation Targeting Firearms

New Legislation Targeting Firearms

October 8, 2018 by Paul Sullivan
Category: Licensing and Regulation

In this blog post, MRSC Legal Consultant Paul Sullivan offers an overview of a number of bills the 2018 Washington State Legislature adopted relating to firearms regulation. 

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Improving Performance Management in Government Through Visual Data

Improving Performance Management in Government Through Visual Data

October 3, 2018 by Leah LaCivita
Category: Performance Management-Measurement

This blog post looks at some of the Lean-related visual tools King County uses to support its efforts at continuous improvement.

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Introducing MRSC

Introducing MRSC's New Finance Consultant, Mike Bailey

October 3, 2018 by Mike Bailey
Category:

After more than 38 years in the trenches as a public finance professional, Mike Bailey is joining MRSC as a Finance Consultant.   

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Is Your Camping Ordinance Constitutional?

Is Your Camping Ordinance Constitutional?

October 1, 2018 by Oskar Rey
Category: Homelessness

This blog will examine the recent Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals case, Martin v. City of Boise, and discuss how this ruling may impact Washington local governments. 

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Planning with Logic Models

Planning with Logic Models

September 27, 2018 by Ben Johnson
Category: Tools for Planners

Logic models can be used as a tool for creating effective plans. This blog post provides an overview of logic models and how local governments can use this tool for creating new initiatives or evaluating existing programs to ensure they align with clear, desired results. 

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Implicit Price Deflator Exceeds 1% for Setting 2019 Property Taxes

Implicit Price Deflator Exceeds 1% for Setting 2019 Property Taxes

September 25, 2018 by Toni Nelson
Category: Economic, Population and Historical Tax Data

The rate of inflation on the implicit price deflator for personal consumption expenditures over the past 12 months is 2.169%, meaning local governments may levy the full 1% increase or bank it for future use. 

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Introducing Sarah Doar, Legal Consultant

Introducing Sarah Doar, Legal Consultant

September 25, 2018 by Sarah Doar
Category:

This blog post introduces Sarah Doar, MRSC's newest Legal Consultant. 

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New Laws Address Collective Bargaining

New Laws Address Collective Bargaining

September 21, 2018 by Linda Gallagher
Category: Collective Bargaining

This blog post gives an overview of four new laws passed by the 2018 Washington State Legislature regarding public employers. 

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Introducing Laura Crandall, Public Policy and Finance Analyst

Introducing Laura Crandall, Public Policy and Finance Analyst

September 19, 2018 by Laura Crandall
Category:

MRSC welcomes Laura Crandall to its staff. Laura is joining us as the Public Policy and Finance Analyst. 

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Tips for Improving Your Grant Proposal Development Process

Tips for Improving Your Grant Proposal Development Process

September 18, 2018 by Amy Gabriel
Category: Revenues , Finance

From providing feedback on draft grant guidelines to employing an outside consultant, this post offers tips on how municipalities can improve the grant development process. 

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