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City of Poulsbo July E-Newsletter

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City of Poulsbo News You Can Use

Limited Hours of Use of Fireworks on the 4th of July

Fireworks have long been a symbol of our freedom and festivity, painting the night sky with brilliant colors and thunderous sounds. However, to ensure the safety and well-being of all our residents, we must exercise caution and responsibility in their use.

This year, we are implementing the policy decision of our City Council to limit the use of fireworks to designated hours. Fireworks may be used on the 4th of July only between eleven o’clock a.m. and eleven o’clock p.m. This decision was made after careful consideration of several factors, including public safety and desire to protect the public from injuries and fires resulting from fireworks and concern about the impacts of fireworks on the environment.

The 4th of July is a time to come together as a community, to celebrate our freedoms and the values that unite us. Let’s ensure that our celebrations are joyful, safe, and respectful of all our neighbors. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Planning and Economic Development Department Update

The Planning Commission and Planning Staff held an open house on Tuesday, June 25 where the property owners of commercial zoned property along Viking Avenue were invited to receive a presentation and express their desires for potential zoning code amendments. This meeting was a result of the City Council asking staff to evaluate potential code amendments to encourage mixed use/residential housing within this district. Amendments could include increased height, reduction in setback requirements, strategic amendments to permitted uses, and modest reductions in parking.

Commissioners were asked to describe Viking through their personal experience. Commissioners described how the area has gone from former RV sales and mostly vacant parking lots to an innovative, entrepreneurial hub that is a great place to start a business. While being a route through town and to Silverdale, it has a high level of potential due to its walkability and accessibility. Some reflected excitement about the addition of the fire station and during the open house expressed support for the new businesses including the three breweries in the zone.

Staff presented existing zoning standards and opened the conversation around increasing height to potentially match the height increases recently passed in the Olhava College Market Place (C-4) and SR-305 (C-3) zoning districts. Those increases range from 55’ to 65’ with underbuilding parking or 45’ to 55’ without. After receiving some initial feedback for support of increased height and sensitivity of views, the presentation moved to an open house and more informal discussion. 

Based on the input received, staff plans to bring draft regulations to the planning commission for discussion at their July meeting. Regulation changes require two public hearings; one before the planning commission and the city council. The community is encouraged to reach out to the planning staff to share any of their interests and concerns. Please email plan&econ@cityofpoulsbo.com

SR305 Moratorium Ends with Zoning Code Amendments

A one year moratorium on vacant and unimproved properties in the SR305 zoning district was repealed on Wednesday, June 26th, two months ahead of schedule. The moratorium, passed in September 2023, was enacted in interest to expand development options for residential development within the area. The adopted amendments focused on height increases within specific areas, strategic revisions to permitted uses and decreasing the setback from the front yard. 

Engineering Department Update

Ruth Haines Roadway- The new Ruth Haines roadway has been constructed, which will connect both Viking Way and Vetter Road to the North Viking Transit Center. This project included site drainage and electrical improvements. In addition, Kitsap Transit planted a total of 1,117 plants in the surrounding area.

Liberty Landing- Site work and utility installation Is underway on this 8-lot single family development located at 19872 Hamilton Court NE. Development will include two driveways, each serving four homes, and on-site guest parking.

Oslo Bay Apartments – Oslo Bay Apartments is a residential community located at the intersection of SR 305 and SR 307 at Bond Road. This 56-acre development will include thirteen apartment buildings for a total of 468 muti-family residential units and a community building with swimming pool, dog wash, lounge, play and picnic areas, and a community garden. Check out the project website at Oslo Bay Apartments. The project began clearing the site in June in preparation for grading the site. Removal of trees and grading will continue through July. Work on the site may occur on weekends as well, limited to City restricted working hours.

Building Dept Update:

In the month of May, the Building Department issued 41 new permits, for a total valuation of $9,180,660.58. Significant projects include a major remodel of the Town & Country grocery store, several single-family additions and remodels, and new single-family residences in the Noll Terrace development.

Last month updates:

Noll Road Corridor Project Update

ADA Curb Ramp Replacement Project

Eliason Building

Winslow Ridge

CMP Apartments

4th Avenue Apartments

Oslo Bay Apartments

Johnson Ridge Final Plat update

Audrey Estates Final Plat update

Finance Department Update

Utility Billing Auto-Payment. The City offers auto-pay as an option to pay your utility bill. Have your payment automatically deducted from your bank account on the 20th of every month. Click here for additional details and an application. If you’d like an application mailed to you, please contact the Finance Department at (360) 394-9881.

Effective July 1, 2024, the City of Poulsbo will implement a Business and Occupation (B&O) Tax.

As an incorporated City, one way the City of Poulsbo will collect revenue to support operational expenditures is through the B&O tax, which will be levied on businesses operating within city limits. This gross receipts tax will apply to the gross revenue measured on the value of products, proceeds of sales, or gross income the business receives. Gross receipts tax means there will be no deductions for labor, materials, or other costs of doing business.

The City of Poulsbo B&O tax is not the same as the Washington State B&O tax and will need to be filed separately from your state taxes.

As a reminder, to do business in the City of Poulsbo you must:

  •  Have a City of Poulsbo business license in good standing.
  •  File a business license tax return.

Tax Rate and Exemptions

In 2024, the tax rate for all categories of business is .2%, (.002) and there are two thresholds for exemptions:

Exemption 1: The first $20,000 of taxable gross revenue earned annually (or $5,000 per quarter) that is not subject to retail sales tax is exempt from the Poulsbo B&O tax.

Exemption 2: The first $125,000 of taxable gross revenue earned annually (or $31,250 per quarter) that is subject to retail sales tax is exempt from the Poulsbo B&O tax.

Businesses will be exempted from paying the City’s B&O tax if their gross receipts are less than $20,000, however B&O tax filings are required, even if there is no balance due. Nonprofit organizations will also be exempt from paying the City’s B&O tax but must also file a return.

A full listing of exemptions may be found in Chapter 3.34 of the Poulsbo Municipal Code, linked in the Resources section.

How to Calculate your Taxes Owed

Your gross revenue will determine the amount of tax you pay. To calculate this amount, multiply your taxable gross revenue amount by the tax rate, considering the applicable exemption.

Exemption #1 example: The 2024 retail B&O tax rate is 0.002 (.2%). If your business grosses $200,000 of taxable income that is not subject to retail sales tax in Poulsbo during 2024 you would list $200,000 as your gross revenue, then deduct the allowed exemption of $20,000 from the gross. The taxable revenue is $180,000 which is multiplied by the tax rate .002, for an annual tax liability of $360.

Exemption #2 example: Alternatively, if your business grosses $200,000 of taxable income that is subject to retail sales tax in Poulsbo during 2024, you would list $200,000 as your gross revenue, then deduct the allowed exemption of $125,000 from the gross. The taxable revenue is $75,000, which is multiplied by the tax rate .002, for an annual tax liability of $150.

Tax Periods

Businesses will be required to submit the tax quarterly unless the City grants an allowance for annual reporting. Late returns will be subject to penalties and interest.

*For due dates that will fall on holidays or weekends, returns will be due on the following business day.

The City is currently exploring different platforms for payment and submittals. As the details are finalized, details will be updated. The City intends to continue community outreach in the next several months.



You can read the Poulsbo Municipal Code (PMC) Chapter 3.34 or visit the webpage https://cityofpoulsbo.com/b-and-o-tax/ for more details about the Poulsbo business and occupation tax. 

Please contact tax@cityofpoulsbo.com for further information.

Job Openings

The City of Poulsbo is currently hiring. Click here to learn more details about open positions!

Poulsbo Garden Club

Now is the time to join the Poulsbo Garden Club! For a year of fun and interesting activities including speakers, garden tours, craft projects, lots of playing in the soil and more, please join us! Dues are only $20 a year.  For more information, email us at PoulsboGardenClub@gmail.com


As a member, you will be invited to our July 13th meeting as we tour two gardens: a new evolving garden being curated by Pacific NW gardening expert Richie Steffen and another beautifully established cottage garden by Jeannie Simmons.  On August 10th, the Poulsbo Garden Club is excited to welcome the public to a free talk about native species gardening by Mike Winningham of Salish Tree Nursery. Details of our August meeting will be coming soon.


Join us now! Email us at PoulsboGardenClub@gmail.com

The Judge's Corner.

Fighting Growing Down

My children and grandchildren have taught me many important, life-changing lessons. Humility, self-reflection and evaluation. Love as I’d not known before. Pride. Joy. Insomnia. Worry. Friendship. Community. Over our years together I perhaps have learned more from them than they have from me. Similar experiences 36 years apart recently reminded me of that.


Phoenix, AZ airport - April 1987


My five-year-old son Chris and his parents are at Phoenix airport, waiting for a plane ride home. Out of nowhere a similar-aged boy came up to Chris and simply asked, “Do you want to run?” 

“Yes,” Chris responded, and off they went, running and laughing, unconcerned about each other’s religious beliefs, financial situation, hometown, skin color, or family political views.

They didn’t care a bit about who ran faster or fell more often. They just ran and laughed and played. And, when they were exhausted, each ran back to their mother’s arms.


Bainbridge Island, WA - KiDiMu - August 2023


My wife and I take our 8 and 5-year-old grandkids to Bainbridge Island’s KiDiMu. The kids’ museum is filled with hyperactive strangers. Soon, at the “bank” kiosk, these unfamiliar children are planning a bank robbery, with cops and robbers. In an instant, my grandson Zach has become a police officer searching for the robbers and seeking return of the stolen money, Granddaughter Emily is part of the robbers’ gang. Off the youngsters went, running and laughing, unconcerned about each other’s religious beliefs, financial situation, hometown, skin color or family political views. They simply played together. And when they were tired, each ran back to their mother or grandmother’s arms.

Life’s journey from the youngster’s perspective to senior citizen stage is often described as “growing up.” I would argue that, in fact, we “grow down.” We note differences. We assess similarity and dissimilarity between people in our interactions. We begin to evaluate motive. Why did he ask me to run? Where are we running to? Is he a faster runner than I? Useless clutter tends to fill our heads, taking away the joy to be had from a clear, youthful mind.

A friend, some years ago, had a simple query: Why was it that youngsters belly laugh, and older people don’t?

That (true, in my experience) observation is part of, I think, growing down over the years.

In my fight against growing down, I am using the following weapons:

  * Seeking commonalities, rather than differences.

  * Assuming no ulterior motive.

  * Accepting the fact that any two people have agreements, disagreements and varying opinions, and accepting that as our time together passes.

  * Understanding that my new friend will have new and unique experiences to share that can broaden my perspective if I allow them to.

So, if I am sitting in an airport and a guy in his 70’s asks me “Do you want to run?” I’ll think harder about saying “Yes.” Though likely I’ll ask if we can just walk swiftly in our journey together. I don’t run very well anymore.


Copyright Jeff Tolman 2024. All rights reserved.

Parks and Recreation Department Update