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Tax hike likely needed to pay for new courthouse

September 26, 2013 J

EVERETT — The cost for a new Snohomish County courthouse is just starting to come into focus.

And with $75 million in bonds already sold for the project, it’s too late to back out.

Now, county leaders need to pick a spot for the building. They also need to find another $35 million to $70 million to foot the bill. In other words, they’re likely to raise taxes.

“That’s going to be the key issue — how do you pay for it,” County Councilman Dave Gossett said. “But, until the design work is done, all of our numbers are best guesses.”

discussion about the new courthouse’s location and costs is planned for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, during the councils’ finance committee. The discussion was rescheduled from Monday.

The county is in this predicament because leaders budgeted the project at $75 million without thoroughly studying the community’s needs.

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