In the last of its three election forums Bellingham City Club hosts the pros and cons of 3 ballot measures to be considered by the voters. The Zoom event is free to the public and will be held on October 4 at 12 noon. Early registration is recommended at www.bellinghamcityclub.org.
Ballot Measures to be covered include:
• Proposition 4 – Public Health, Safety, and Justice Sales and Use (aka Jail) Tax – brought to the voters by a resolution passed by the Whatcom County Council. If this measure passes it will authorize the collection of a local sales and use tax of two-tenths of one percent for the purpose of providing funds for costs associated with public health, safety and justice facilities and services, including behavioral health, supportive housing, public safety, and criminal justice facilities and programs.
• Initiative 1 – Establishing a Minimum Wage Above the State Minimum Wage – brought to the voters by a sufficient number of qualified electors of the City of Bellingham – If passed this measure would establish a City minimum wage that is $1.00 above the State minimum wage on May 1, 2024, increasing to $2.00 above the State minimum wage on May 1, 2025. The measure prohibits retaliation by employers against employees; establishes a private right of action for employees; gives the City access to work sites and records; and allows the City to issue civil infractions and order injunctive relief including reinstatement, restitution, and payment of back wages.
• Initiative 2 – Rental Relocation Assistance Program for Tenants – brought to the voters by a sufficient number of qualified electors of the City of Bellingham – This measure would require landlords to provide written notice 120 days before increasing rent by more than 8% in a rolling 12-month period; require landlords to pay relocation assistance equal to three times the current fair market monthly rent for Bellingham or three times the tenant’s existing monthly rate, whichever is higher, when increasing rent more than 8%, with limited exceptions; provide tenants receiving assistance a relocation period of 5 months; and authorize private actions and city enforcement.