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Seattle residents have once again voted to raise the cost of housing to lower housing costs. If it sounds contradictory, you must be new to the Emerald City. Here, a liberal ethos prevails, with a penchant for endorsing any proposal cloaked in the mantle of progressivism.
Consider the Seattle Housing Levy as a case in point: a colossal program nearing $1 billion, earmarked for the construction of affordable housing. This levy did not simply extend a pre-existing tax from 2016; it more than tripled the tax rate from 14 cents to 45 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.
Predictably, the levy passed with early voting results showing a commanding 66% support. The only firm number the levy commits to is a mere 3,200 new rental home constructions.
While it helps build some affordable housing, it also increases the cost of housing. Homeowners will see their property tax bills surge by roughly $400 annually. Tenants won’t be spared either, as these tax hikes are passed along via increased rents.
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