Tax-happy council again makes Seattle unaffordable

Nov 14, 2017, 6:46 AM | Updated: 7:17 am
seattle, airbnb, housing, loftium...
(File, Associated Press)
(File, Associated Press)

It’s almost like the Seattle City Council is trolling us when council members claim they are concerned about Seattle’s housing affordability crises.

RELATED: Council too lazy to stop pricey streetcar project

On the one hand, they will tell us they want to help create affordable housing and make it less expensive to live here. But, on the other hand, they decide to tax people who were just given some rental or mortgage relief.

Many people rent out bedrooms in their homes on Airbnb as a means to more comfortably pay their rent or mortgage. They owe a lot of money every month, they have a room that goes unused, so they offer it up online. Others, who won’t be in their homes for large periods of time, will rent out their entire property on Airbnb so it’s not going unused.This, too, helps them afford the high cost of living in Seattle.

So, naturally, a greedy city council will tax these people, not quite understanding why people use Airbnb.

This week, the council approved a tax of $14 per night when you’re renting out your entire home. For those of you renting out a room, it’s $8 per night. They’ll use this money to set up and administer the tax — because that makes great sense — while putting what’s left over into this nebulous effort to create affordable housing.

Why are they doing it? Because they have a fundamental ignorance of what Airbnb is and why people use the service.

The answer to this is two-fold.

First, the council foolishly thinks when you offer up properties on Airbnb, you’re taking long-term housing units off the market for rental or purchase. This is incorrect. Many use this service to earn extra money and they live in the homes full-time. The council confuses a small percentage that solely uses this platform as a business as the norm.

Second, and this is a whopper of a reason, the council believes “the short-term rental platforms, as part of a new but growing industry, would also benefit from regulation to ensure good business standards and practices.” So a bunch of politicians, who know literally nothing about this growing industry, are the ones regulating it for the industry’s benefit.

Don’t you love this kind of paternalism?

More from Jason Rantz

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

(Seattle Police Department)...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Victim died as medics waited for critically understaffed Seattle Police to arrive to scene

Due to critically low staffing, Seattle Police were unable to quickly respond to a deadly hit and run as medics waited to be cleared to treat the victim.
23 hours ago
Police officers block a street as city crews dismantle the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) ar...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Did Seattle councilmembers abuse police help, while defunding department?

I didn't come up empty-handed because I have no idea whether or not it's true. In this case, I was stopped from doing a part of my job.
5 days ago
Slides from Kirkland Middle School's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Presentation  from April 28...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: School used unsubstantiated hate speech claim to push kids into equity training

KiMS principal alleged there was an "an increase in use of racial and identity slurs." The incidents were "pervasive rather than an isolated incident."
6 days ago
A volunteer collects heroin syringes from a homeless encampment on March 12, 2022 in Seattle, Washi...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Progressives push drug legalization lie, amidst fatal OD surge and past failures

Instead of combatting the drug crisis, left-wing activists hope to legalize drug possession under the guise of treatment by lying about their plans.
7 days ago
Homeless Light Rail...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Shocking video shows light rail train used as homeless shelter

A Sound Transit employee took shocking video that shows approximately 30 homeless people using light rail as a homeless shelter.
8 days ago
Space Needle Needles...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Space Needle turned into syringe with new paint job

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Space Needle,  the city of Seattle returned the roof to its signature orange hue. The color has taken on new meaning.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Tax-happy council again makes Seattle unaffordable