skip navigation
Share this:


MRSC Insight Blog


Posts for Revenues

Recapping the November 2022 Ballot Measure Results

Recapping the November 2022 Ballot Measure Results

As with many past elections, this past November brought voters over 100 local ballot measures across the state, from libraries to bond measures to levy lid lifts. New this year, however, were several measures involving ranked-choice voting and home rule charter propositions.

Read more

Funding Local Affordable Housing Efforts

Funding Local Affordable Housing Efforts

It can be difficult for cities, towns, and counties to fund local affordable housing programs, but there are some options available, from taxing options to federal and state grant programs. 

Read more

Pierce County Offers a Model for Distributing Pandemic-Related Assistance Funding

Pierce County Offers a Model for Distributing Pandemic-Related Assistance Funding

With just three staff, the Pierce County’s Rental & Utility Assistance Program has distributed $59,100 in overdue rental payments and $14,800 in utility payments to needy households since late 2020. This blog looks at how the program works and what makes it successful. 

Read more

Washington Supreme Court Finds I-976 Unconstitutional

Washington Supreme Court Finds I-976 Unconstitutional

This blog provides a brief overview of a recent Washington Supreme Court ruling striking down I-976.

Read more

Locating Good Data for Your Revenue Forecasting

Locating Good Data for Your Revenue Forecasting

Traditional approaches to revenue forecasting will not be sufficient during the COVID-19 pandemic. This blog post explores where to find good data and get more accurate ways to predict future revenues. 

Read more

Changing Forecasts for Transportation Revenues and Other Impacts of I-976

Changing Forecasts for Transportation Revenues and Other Impacts of I-976

This blog post looks at the impact the passage of I-976 will have on transportation revenues, the state's multimodal account, and transportation benefit districts. 

Read more

New Guidance in Accounting for and Reporting Leases

New Guidance in Accounting for and Reporting Leases

This blog post looks at the new standards the Governmental Accounting Standards Board has released regarding accounting for and reporting leases. 

Read more

New City and County Revenue Guides Published!

New City and County Revenue Guides Published!

For many years, city and county officials have relied on MRSC’s Revenue Guides to better understand their various revenue options. In partnership with the State Auditor’s Office, we’ve completely rewritten and republished these important documents.

Read more

Tips for Improving Your Grant Proposal Development Process

Tips for Improving Your Grant Proposal Development Process

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. 

Read more

My Can of Coke Costs What?!!!

My Can of Coke Costs What?!!!

Since January 1, 2018, Seattle residents and visitors have found that drinking sweetened drinks cost a little bit more. Legal Consultant Paul Sullivan looks at the city's new sweetened beverage tax, one that is projected to raise almost $15 million in 2018. 

Read more

Ballot Measures Part 1: Affordable Housing Taxes, Revenue Measures, and Low Voter Turnout

Ballot Measures Part 1: Affordable Housing Taxes, Revenue Measures, and Low Voter Turnout

Senior Communications Coordinator Steve Hawley recaps some of the local funding measures in this year’s general election, including the state’s first affordable housing sales tax, the failure of a voted REET 2 measure, and low turnout causing problems for bonds and levies.

Read more

Keeping Up with Inflation: Strategies for Increasing Revenue to Keep Up with Cost Increases

Keeping Up with Inflation: Strategies for Increasing Revenue to Keep Up with Cost Increases

For the most part, cities in Washington have very little influence on the amount of revenue that is generated from property taxes, sales taxes, and utility taxes. So how can cities keep up with inflation?

Read more

Multimodal Transportation Funds Released To Cities and Counties on April 15

Multimodal Transportation Funds Released To Cities and Counties on April 15

The initial distribution of this new fund should include the first two quarters of the state biennium that were missed (September 2015 and December 2015) along with the March 2016 distribution.

Read more

Small City Perspective: Is State Shared Revenue a Necessity or Burden?

Small City Perspective: Is State Shared Revenue a Necessity or Burden?

Randy Hinchliffe from the City of Waitsburg provides his perspective on dealing with the lack of local control of state shared revenues.

Read more

Tax Changes for Recreational Services and Athletic/Fitness Facilities

Tax Changes for Recreational Services and Athletic/Fitness Facilities

Recent legislation has changed the definition of a retail sale and the new change becomes effective on January 1. Here is some guidance on what this change may mean for your 2016 tax report.

Read more

Are You Calculating Your City Utility Tax Correctly?

Are You Calculating Your City Utility Tax Correctly?

While reviewing city utility finances, we often notice a discrepancy between the city code and how the utility tax is calculated. As a result, many cities collect less money from their utility taxes than is allowed under their city code.

Read more

Not to Be Too Alarmist, but, Being a Realist …

Not to Be Too Alarmist, but, Being a Realist …

Aside from locally derived tax revenues, cities and counties with slow-to-no economic growth coupled with higher-than-state-average unemployment can expect scant additional financial help from the State and Federal budgets.

Read more

Important New Court Decision on a City's Utility Tax Authority

In a decision issued today (5/20/2014), Division III of the state court of appeals decided that a code city has the legal authority to impose its utility tax on the revenues of a public utility district's provision of water service to customers within the city limits, except to the extent that the district's revenues "were derived from governmental activities." The court's decision in

Read more

bigstock-declining-bar-chart-drawn-on-a-43103026.jpg

Are Local Government Revenues Lagging Behind the Economy?

Using past recessions as a guide, the rule of thumb is that the recovery in local government revenues will lag 18 to 24 months behind the low point of a recession, but in Washington the lag may be shorter for some jurisdictions.

Read more

1040.jpg

Are Donations to Local Governments Tax Deductible?

Most donations to local governments are deductible from the donor's federal income taxes. So what information does the local government need to provide to the donor for IRS purposes?

Read more

Have You Reviewed Your Excise Tax Worksheets Lately?

Is your utility taking full advantage of the deductions and exemptions specified in state law? Given that the tax rules applicable to utilities in the State of Washington are complex and can change over time, it is relatively easy to overpay or underpay taxes.

Read more