Council candidate: Seattle goes for taxes because ‘it’s easy’

Apr 6, 2017, 2:14 PM
City council, taxes...
A Seattle City Council candidate believes the local government is bloated. (AP)

Seattle government is constantly taking the easy way out when it comes to funding critical programs, a city council candidate argues.

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James Passey is one of 10 candidates for Seattle City Council Position 8. He believes the city just piles on taxes, instead of taking a critical look at what is and isn’t working and shifting money around.

Take the homeless crisis, for example. Passey says the first thing the city should do, instead of proposing taxes, is to figure out which services are actually working and put money into those that do.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has said as much. After proposing a now-dead property tax plan, Murray told KIRO Radio’s Jason and Burns that the city needs to fund homeless programs based on outcomes.

“The city and county haven’t done that,” he said. “We are now rebidding every single contract. It’s been 10 years since those contracts have been rebid.”

Indeed they haven’t. The deadline for the county’s 10-year-plan to cut homelessness in half has come and gone. In selected areas of King County, the number of people living unsheltered increased from 3,772 in 2015 to 4,505 in 2016, according to the One Night Count.

And the proposals to fund homeless programs — the newest being a King County-wide sales tax increase — is just the beginning. A proposed soda tax at the city level would be yet another burden on Seattle residents, Passey says.

Passey says he would “start questioning the amount of money” coming into the city.

“It seems they go for a tax first because it’s easy,” he said.

The candidate, who is running against Ryan Asbert, Hisam Goueli, Jon Grant, Jenn Huff, Mac McGregor, Teresa Mosqueda, Rudy Pantoja, Sheley Secrest, and Charlene Strong, considers city government to be “bloated.”

Listen to what he says about the homeless issue.

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Council candidate: Seattle goes for taxes because ‘it’s easy’