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Seattle Gets Financial Boost For White Center Annexation Plan

The unincorporated area just south of Seattle could finally join it's northern neighbor soon.

While there's a decent chance that many Seattlites couldn't tell you if White Center was actually a part of Seattle already, the city is gradually moving forward with plans to eventually annex it along with the rest of the unincorporated North Highline area and just got a big financial incentive to do so.

The Legislature agreed this week to redirect more than $7 million in state sales taxes to Seattle each year for six years if the city annexes the area.

The money would help the city cover costs associated with the annexation, letting Mayor Ed Murray move ahead with a plan that’s been on hold for a number of years due to inaction in the Legislature, he said Thursday.

Officials in King County have been working on a plan to annex densely-population, unincorporated areas surrounding nearby cities and this would be one of the last major areas on the list.

Burien annexed the southern portion of North Highline in 2009 but failed to do grab the rest in 2012 when voters rejected the idea. Seattle previously considered annexing this region in 2009 but the city council said no to the plan.

The plan is waiting for approval from the Boundary Review Board for King County and if they do, it'll go before the Seattle City Council, who will decide if and when it goes on the ballot in Seattle.

The 17,000-18,000 people currently living in White Center receive lesser services and lack the support to thrive as an unincorporated region. Projects go unfunded and many citizens are wondering who is taking care of them. A Seattle annexation would solve that, though just how much attention the city would pay to the South Seattle region remains to be seen.

If nothing else, annexation would make the Rat City Rollergirls an official Seattle treasure. And who doesn't want that?
· Seattle’s plan to annex White Center gets boost [ST]