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Dori: Mayor is killing affordability in Seattle with new transportation plan

The City of Seattle wants to up the amount of funding transportation receives from taxes. (Josh Kerns/KIRO Radio)

Seattle’s mayor wants more taxes to pay for transportation.

Mayor Ed Murray announced a plan to ask Seattle residents to approve a $930 million transportation levy on Wednesday. That’s $30 million more than what was originally proposed and shows the hypocrisy of Murray and city administration, KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson said.

“It just continues the theme of too much is never enough,” Dori said. “They sold the last levy as essential.”

The new proposal would not increase the cost to taxpayers, according to the city. The additional funding committed to transportation comes from the projected increase in assessed value due to new construction.

The revised property tax levy to Move Seattle reflects community priorities expressed in nearly 8,000 comments received during numerous public meetings, coffee hours and an online survey that followed the release of the draft levy proposal in March, according to the city.

“This levy reflects the needs of our communities and improves the day-to-day realities of getting around our city,” Murray said. “Over the past several weeks, the people of Seattle told us that safety is the top priority. We will invest more in transit reliability and access, improved connections to light rail, and making it safer for people of all ages to walk in Seattle.”

But won’t increasing property taxes make Seattle less affordable than it is now? Dori points out that Mayor Murray says he wants to find ways to combat income inequality and unaffordable housing, but he’s increasing property taxes.

“I’d love to find out … Why he does things to make it worse,” Dori said.

There’s another concerning fact about the property tax increase: It’s not just property owners that will vote on it.

“There are thousands of people who are in apartments who are property tax exempt,” Dori said. “They have no skin in the game. They can vote for higher and higher taxes and not be affected at all.”

“Strap in,” Dori added. “It’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

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