Speaking of King County, have you seen this annexation page? Basically, the county is trying to get out of the business of running services in unincorporated areas such as Skyway, North Highline and Juanita. They have encouraged cities to look at annexing the unincorporated areas near them and want all the “urban unincorporated areas” annexed or incorporated by 2012. Recently voters in Renton voted down the annexation of East Renton Highlands, and if Renton residents don’t want the affluent Highlands, what makes anyone think that they will successfully annex Skyway?
Meanwhile, Seattle and Burien are fighting it out over North Highline, also known as White Center. Seattle wants to annex it but some people in the city wonder if it offers any advantage to Seattle. Burien wants to annex part of it, but since Seattle is willing to get the whole thing, they are unable to officially take that stance. The problem for Burien is that North Highline’s 32,400 people are about as many as Burien’s 34,000 and would create a $3.5 million loss on a $15 million budget for Burien, that’s with a sales tax sharing from the state for 10 years (Cities over 400,000 people, of which Seattle is the only one, are not eligible for the sales tax sharing from the state.). For Seattle, the area would cost about $4.6 million out of a total budget of close to $2 billion.
In Burien, the vast majority of the population is against annexation, in Seattle no body really seems to care much one way or another. In North Highline, their is a mild majority tilting toward Burien. They will be the people who ultimately decide. To make the whole thing more complicated, there’s the whole issue of who will pay for the replacement of the South Park Bridge which is set to fail to pieces any day now. Neither city wants to pay for the $70 million it’ll cost to replace the bridge. It’ll be weird to see how things play out on this and the other annexations.