Five Council members speak up on the lodging tax

Five City Council members sent a letter to three of their counterparts on the King County Council, asking them to spend more lodging tax revenues on affordable housing.

The letter, which is signed by Council President Harrell and Council members Gonzalez, Herbold, Mosqueda and O’Brien and is address to County Council members Upthegrove, Dembowski and Kohl-Welles, doesn’t mention Safeco Field once, but thanks the County Council members for their “efforts to leverage use of lodging tax revenue to build affordable housing needed to address King County’s homelessness crisis.” It suggests that since the homelessness crisis wasn’t nearly as severe in 2011 when the state legislature passed the law setting benchmarks for allocation of lodging tax revenues to affordable housing, cultural organizations and tourism, the County Council should depart from those guidelines.

It goes on to emphasize that the affordable housing crisis is pervasive in King County, and not just in Seattle, citing statistics for housing affordability in Renton, Bellevue, Kirkland, Burien, Federal Way, and Kent.

It closes by thanking the County Council members for their “efforts in framing a productive and sensible dialogue.”



  1. I am curious why not all CMs signed on to the letter. Are they all asked to do so? Any insight you can offer into why only five signed would be most welcome.

    1. It was circulated by Mosqueda at the Council Briefing yesterday morning. No word as to why the other four didn’t sign on.

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