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The budget has become a focal point of discussion. Below are the facts.  Dive deeper into the details by clicking on the buttons below:

Watch this 4-minute video on understanding the budget.


Video: Pam Stuart's 2021 Tax Increase Dissent


Pam Stuart is the only council member who voted against both the tax increases in 2020 and 2021 which resulted in an 11% Sammamish property tax increase.

2020 - 

She voted against the 6% property tax increase (Meeting Timestamp: 3:03:25 and Meeting Minutes)

2021 -

She was the sole councilmember to vote against the 5% property tax increase (Meeting Timestamp 1:25:45 and Meeting Minutes)

2022 -

She supported a 1% property tax increase, a move in line with the majority of cities across King County, as a response to the 9% increased cost of public safety services due to inflation (source)


  • Does the City of Sammamish have a $5 million budget deficit? No
    No, this is misinformation. According to Washington State Law, RCW 35.33.075, local governments cannot engage in deficit spending. Our budget would be rejected by the state if we had a deficit. Sammamish is currently on track to end the year with over $1 million in positive cash flow in our operating revenues versus expenses, with substantial funds in reserves.
  • Does Sammamish have any debt? No
    Sammamish stands out as one of the few cities in King County that upholds a debt-free status. The City Council follows a conservative budgeting approach, preparing for various financial scenarios, including those without a surplus. We are actively working to improve budget accuracy, aiming to reduce the substantial buffer while providing more precise predictions for the city's income.
  • Why have the City's expenses increased?
    The City's expenses have increased due to the Comprehensive Plan Update and rising inflation. We're actively diversifying revenue sources to reduce the burden on homeowners.
  • Are our city finances being mismanaged into a financial crisis? No
    The City of Sammamish runs of very lean government with the city's per capita spending being less than half that of our neighboring communities. (See the figure below from the Fiscal Sustainability Report) The council does perform line-by-line performance-based budget reviews, where SMART goals set by the City Council are used during the review process.
  • Is Sammamish on a path to insolvency? No.
    No, the city is not on a path to insolvency. This is simply a scare tactic. The city currently has $136M in bank, $52.5M for our general fund (operations – ie Police, Fire, Staff, Parks Maintenance, etc.). From our August Monthly Financial Management Report: Actuals for the biennium will result in a positive cash flow for operations while we continue to fund some critical infrastructure projects from our fund balance ($7.75M for a fire station remodel). This is what we want – we should not be increasing our balances significantly nor decreasing them – holding steady is great financial management. In adopting the 2023-2024 budget in November of 2022, we took an overly conservative approach to our potential revenues and had some uncertainty in our potential expenses with higher interest rates, unknown costs for our police (police union was still negotiating their contract with King County Sheriff’s Office), and a huge lift for our once every 10-year comprehensive plan update. We also knew that we had the funds to weather the storm and ensure residents continued to get the quality of services they need and want. As a matter of fact, the city of Sammamish has a long history of significantly over estimating costs and underestimating revenues. As a long-time advocate to improve the accuracy of our budgeting process for more oversight on our spending and increase our reserve fund to ensure we can weather any storm, I agreed to this approach going into 2023 with the promise that we would correct at the mid-biennium adjustment. As expected, our revenues for 2023 are at least $1.5M to $3M more than expected and our costs will come in conservatively $4M under budget. Note that we cannot adjust our 2023 costs down until after the biennium, in 2025, but we will see a $4-$6M adjustment like we did earlier this year for the last biennium. Here is my personal analysis based on the August Monthly Financial Management Report. 2024 will also see an increase in overall revenues (higher interest income with lower REET and other taxes) and we’ve adjusted the costs down based on 2023 actuals to produce a $2.45M lower projected spend. Mid-Biennium Presentation: City of Sammamish - Document Center (
  • Did Pam advocate for or push for a 12% property tax increase across the board? NO
    This attack is a LIE. It is the opposite of what actually happened. As a matter of fact, in November of 2020, Pam proposed a budget that would not require any tax increases and it was voted down 5-2 by the then council majority, including Council Member Kent Treen. Sammamish City Council Meeting Sources: City of Sammamish - Meeting Information ( (click on the minutes to see the motions and voting record) November 24th, 2020 - City Council Meeting - YouTube timestamp: 3:03:25 City of Sammamish - Meeting Information ( (click on the minutes to see the motions and voting record) November 16, 2021 - City Council Meeting - YouTube timestamp 1:25:45 Easy to Watch Budget Breakdown Video: Short video on understanding our budget - Understanding the Sammamish Budget - YouTube
  • Did Pam hide a public disaster plan? NO
    As to the hiding of a public disaster plan, I don’t even know what that is or what that means. I didn’t hide anything and have been pushing for years to get a better emergency management planning and better preparation. I and others have been asking for a plan from our now former Emergency Manager for several years. Watch the meeting (the EM who was supposed to deliver it just resigned after this meeting) September 5, 2023 - City Council Meeting - YouTube. Where I clearly call out that a study is NOT a plan and many of us are in dismay at the lack of progress. But nothing has been hidden from the public. To the contrary, for a couple of years in my first term, I was often the lone council member pushing for transparency. Trust & Transparency Walk & Talk - YouTube

Having served as your Sammamish City Councilmember for the past 5 years, I’ve been committed to promoting government transparency and providing you with accurate information about the challenges our city faces. That’s why I want to personally address some of the political rhetoric and misinformation surrounding the City of Sammamish’s budgeting process:

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Support Pam's Campaign


Sammamish's financial stability relies on diversifying income sources, practicing efficient budget management, and keeping the community engaged in cost-effective decision-making. 

Retain local sales tax revenue to bolster funding for essential services while maintaining efficiency.

  • Supporting local businesses and our local chamber

  • Creating an economic development plan as part of our comp plan update

Enhance budget accuracy, aligning forecasts with actuals, and identifying cost-saving opportunities.

Continue to prioritize work plan items to key results, ensuring a high return on investment for the community. I've spearheaded the effort to create key results for each budget cycle.

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