Mayor Murray proposes to double housing tax in Seattle

Mar 3, 2016, 12:58 PM | Updated: 1:36 pm
City council, taxes...
A Seattle City Council candidate believes the local government is bloated. (AP)

In keeping with his promise to raise Seattle’s housing tax, Mayor Ed Murray submitted his proposal Thursday morning that would double the local housing levy.

“Expanding the Housing Levy is the most important thing we will do this year to support affordability in Seattle,” Murray said. “The levy is a powerful resource to build more affordable homes for low-income families and help people at risk of falling into homelessness. We value an equitable and diverse city and we will renew our commitment to affordable housing.”

Related: Mayor Murray states intention to raise housing tax for homeless crisis

The Seattle Housing Levy has achieved voter approval five times since 1981. The last time it passed, in 2009, it was for $145 million. Murray aims to raise the levy to $290 million. According to his proposal, the 7-year levy will cost a Seattle homeowner (with a median home value of $480,000) about $122 in taxes annually.

Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess is in charge of forming a council committee to look into Murray’s proposal.

The tax money from the housing levy is slated to assist low-income residents, seniors, people with disabilities and those experiencing homelessness. Murray also wants to use the levy money for homelessness prevention and homeownership assistance.

The proposal claims the $290 million will produce and preserve 2,150 low-income apartments for 50 years. It will also contribute tenant-paid rent in 510 apartments for low-income residents. It also states that 4,500 families facing immediate risk of eviction will be provided rental assistance. Murray also wants to use the levy to help 180 first-time homebuyers to purchase affordable homes.

Previous levies have contributed to 800 families purchasing their first home, and provided funding to 12,500 affordable apartments in Seattle, according to the city.

Local News

Feliks Banel

After Pearl Harbor, volunteers scanned Washington’s skies

A half-hour show, called “Eyes Aloft,” was produced each week for members of the Aircraft Warning Service, a corps of volunteer observers and clerical workers who donated their time to keep vigil over the sky during WWII.
9 hours ago
Photo from KIRO 7...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Closing arguments heard in trial of man accused of killing couple found washed ashore in suitcase

Jurors heard closing arguments Tuesday in a disturbing case involving bodies washed ashore on Alki Beach.
9 hours ago
Asian giant hornet, murder hornet...
Travis Mayfield

Mayfield: Cooperation and communication is what got rid of Murder Hornets

Congratulations are in order for the folks at our state's Department of Agriculture. Why? They didn't catch a single Murder Hornet in Washington all year.
9 hours ago
L.B. Gilbert

30 car collision blocks I-90 east of Kittitas, 10-12 hour closure expected

Around 5:50 a.m. WSDOT announced Interstate 90 is closed 16 miles east of Ellensburg due to a multiple-car collision that WSP says involves 30 vehicles.
9 hours ago
Police Lights...
Lisa Brooks

Seattle police investigate multiple convenience store robberies

Seattle Police are investigating two armed robberies at convenience stores in the West Seattle area that investigators say may be connected.
9 hours ago
Associated Press

Appeals court upholds most Eyman campaign finance violations

A Washington state Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld most of the campaign finance violations that longtime anti-tax initiative promoter Tim Eyman was found liable for last year.
9 hours 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.
Mayor Murray proposes to double housing tax in Seattle