Cost of new Seattle, King County levies could weigh heavily on homeowners

Nov 6, 2015, 11:47 AM | Updated: 12:16 pm
school levies...
(File, Associated Press)
(File, Associated Press)

While many in Seattle were celebrating the successful passing of the Move Seattle levy, a Ballard woman was at home, feeling far from jubilant.

“I want to share with you an email I got from Katherine in my old stomping grounds in Ballard,” KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson said.

“The City of Seattle has literally taxed her out of her home,” he said.

Reading from the letter, Katherine, 68, in Ballard tells Dori that she’s “scared and alone” and when she saw news footage of people celebrating the passing of the Move Seattle levy, she felt like she was “getting slapped in the face.”

“I’ve been up all night crying,” she wrote. “My husband and I bought our house in your old Ballard neighborhood in 1986. We paid $85,000. We put a lot of work and love into this old house and fixed it up really cute. The county now has it assessed at $800,000. Our property taxes are nearly $10,000 per year.”

Katherine’s husband passed away three years ago, and she is now on a fixed income. With higher property taxes, she believes she will have to sell her house.

“I have to sell the house that we raised our children in,” Katherine wrote. “I love this house. I love my neighborhood. I love my neighbors. But more than anything, I love the memories.”

According to KING 5, Seattle homeowners with average properties values at $450,000, will be paying approximately $4,500 after new taxes across the county were passed on Nov. 3. That’s about $400 more than property tax estimates from previous years. The estimate includes the $275 for Proposition 1 (Move Seattle levy), King County’s Best Starts for Kids levy at $63, and the levy for Seattle’s new public financing of campaigns (I-122) which is less than $10.

Dori argues that not every home in Seattle can be represented by the average figures often promoted for such levies. Not every home is valued at $450,000.

“The reality is that is going to cost people anywhere from $300 to thousands of dollars more than what they were collecting,” Dori said.

“Do they think about that? The people who were partying, and celebrating a transfer of a billion dollars from people like Katherine, and all the collective Katherines that are out there,” he said. “A transfer of a billion dollars from all of these families to Ed Murray and Scott Kubly and people who cannot manage projects and go billions of dollars over budget because of their ineptness. What are you celebrating when you are whooping it up?”

According to the City of Seattle, approximately 24 percent of Seattle homeowners earn less than $50,000 annually. That comes out to about 27,700 homes in the city.

For homeowners such as Katherine, there are some programs of relief that are managed at the state level. One such program allows households with less than $57,000 in annual income to spread out payments or defer payments until a property is sold, or the owner passes away. Another program for senior citizens (ages 61 and older in this case) reduces the amount of property taxes owed overall.

Dori Monson on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

seattle police...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Internet sleuth helps Seattle police arrest suspect in attempted rape, robbery

Using doorbell video camera images of other alleged crimes throughout Seattle, Richard used his Internet sleuthing skills to help police.
3 days ago
Dori appreciate Seattle City Light...
Dori Monson

Dori: I can appreciate government work every once in awhile

I love being a watchdog of government. And that includes spotlighting great work. I appreciate utility workers for their help this week.
6 days ago
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Should you add a kangaroo to your Christmas wish list?

Strom – who has been raising both ‘roos and wallabies for 25 years on his preserve – had some words of marsupial-owning wisdom for Dori.
7 days ago
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Petition calls for entire Olympia School Board to resign after appointing felon

Barely one month after four Olympia School Board members unanimously appointed a convicted felon to fill a board opening, a no-confidence petition has been posted by community members, calling for the entire board to resign.
9 days ago
Dori Monson Show

Dori: FTX crypto scandal hits Washington bank, politicians

Unlike Bitcoin, “crypto is the Wild West” with no regulations on truth in advertising, Brewer added.
11 days ago
Apple Cup rivalry...
Dori Monson Show

Apple Cup rivalry: Couple’s ashes to be buried in UW, WSU helmets

The Apple Cup kicks off for UW and WSU this Saturday, but one married couple is taking the rivalry to their own eventual 'end zone.'
14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Cost of new Seattle, King County levies could weigh heavily on homeowners