Category Archives: tax

Understanding the Seattle Waterfront LID

Seattle’s waterfront is undergoing a massive $4.7 billion renovation, including rebuilding the seawall, tearing down the Alaskan Way Viaduct and replacing it with a deep-bore tunnel, rebuilding Colman Dock and the ferry terminal, remaking the Alaskan Way surface street, and improving park and streetscape elements as part of the city’s $688 million Waterfront Seattle initiative. $200 million of the funds to pay for Waterfront Seattle are proposed to come from a new Local Improvement District: a special assessment on downtown properties that are expected to increase in value because of the project. But some residents who will be subject to the assessment are unhappy that they are being asked to foot part of the bill for a project they say will benefit the entire region.

Let’s look at how LIDs work, and how this one in particular is structured.

(5-21-18: updates below)

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Head tax passes, nearly unchanged, out of committee

At least it was civil.

This morning all nine Council members showed up for the Finance and Neighborhoods Committee deliberations on the proposed head tax. Several of them offered substantive changes to the tax. They debated and voted for two and a half hours, and when the dust settled, none of the substantive amendments proposed had passed — just a few technical changes and clarifications. They then voted the bill out of committee, sending it to Monday afternoon’s Full Council meeting for final approval and a probable veto by Mayor Durkan.

Continue reading Head tax passes, nearly unchanged, out of committee

Mayor Durkan unveils proposal for unified education levy

This morning, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced her proposal for a single property tax levy to replace two that expire at the end of this year: the Families and Education Levy and the Seattle Preschool Levy. It would also fund her Seattle Promise college tuition program.

Continue reading Mayor Durkan unveils proposal for unified education levy