Families, Education, Preschool, Promise Levy: What the mayor is asking you to pay for

(WSB photo: November 2017, South Seattle College)

When Mayor Jenny Durkan came to South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on her second day in office last November, she signed an executive order to expand the free-college program that’s brought hundreds of students to SSC in recent years, but it wasn’t clear at the time where the money would come from. Now it is. Today she announced that funding her Seattle Promise plan – free community college at more campuses, for more students – would be part of a levy this fall that also will replace two expiring levies, the Families and Education Levy (passed in 2011) and the Seattle Preschool Program levy (passed in 2014). From the announcement:

Under Mayor Durkan’s plan, homeowners of a median assessed value property ($665,000 in 2019) would pay approximately $20.75 a month or $249 a year. For the first time, qualified low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and veterans with a service-connected disability will be eligible for an exemption.

So what exactly would that get you? Not just college – that’s actually only a fraction. More than half the money would go to the preschool program. Here’s the full plan (PDF). Page 9 in that report has this breakdown of what percentage of the levy money would go to which programs:

The mayor is proposing that the levy go to voters on the November ballot.

80 Replies to "Families, Education, Preschool, Promise Levy: What the mayor is asking you to pay for"

  • flimflam April 18, 2018 (5:50 pm)

    ugh, give us a break. not everyone in the city is a rich techie. always such happy, fluffy, levies though.

    no levy ever seems to expire once it gets voted for, either….

    • heartless April 18, 2018 (7:26 pm)

      Article: “…would be part of a levy this fall that also will replace two expiring levies…”

      Flimflam: “no levy ever seems to expire once it gets voted for, either….”

      • Flimflam April 18, 2018 (8:17 pm)

        Exactly my point – a supposedly expiring levy gets reincarnated. Because the chiiiiildren.

        • heartless April 18, 2018 (9:13 pm)

          What you wrote was demonstrably wrong.  

          If you don’t want this levy then please vote against it–but the way you make false claims is childish at best and duplicitous at worst.

          • Rick April 19, 2018 (12:33 am)

            Aaahhh, the name calling has begun. Typical. I can use multi-syllable words too.

    • AMD April 18, 2018 (7:34 pm)

      This literally replaces two expiring levies.  It says so right in the article…

      The difference between the old levies and the new one is less than $7 a month. If you’re even at the median household cost for the city, which many of us aren’t (my house sure as heck isn’t valued anywhere near that).

      She’s asking for less than $7 a month so that we have a better educated populace. That is completely worth foregoing a latte a month, IMO.

      • Senior April 18, 2018 (7:49 pm)


        i can’t afford 7 a month do you have some suggestions, I’m on a fixed income, worked 45 years and being taxed out of my home, 7 a month may nit be much to you but huge deal to many, your lack of understanding and so casual about others financial situation, shame on you

        • AMD April 18, 2018 (10:19 pm)

          You can keep your shaming to yourself.  It’s not helpful.

          It works out to $6.58 a month if your house is assessed at $665,000 (and likely has a market value much higher).  So unless your’s sitting on three quarters of a million dollars worth of property, your actual monthly increase is going to be far less (mine will be more like $4.50 a month).  

          If $7 is going to put you on the street, that’s something that should be addressed whether that $7 bill is coming from taxes, electric rate hikes, cost of food increases, or medical expenses.  There are programs out there to assist with utility payments, property taxes, food, and medical expenses for those living on the brink of homelessness such as yourself.  This levy will have a specific exemption for low-income seniors and people with disabilities, so you should look closer at that too.

          I still feel that taxes are part of living in civilized society and $7 a month (or $4.50 as it will be for me) is well worth it to have a better educated and less debt-ridden public.  I paid over $500 a month servicing student loans for the better part of a decade; that is absolutely not something I want the next generation to suffer through.  I’m more than happy to give something else up to bridge the gap for others.

          • Rick April 19, 2018 (12:40 am)

             Nick nick nick nick nick nick nick nick nick nick nick nick Oh crap, I’m outta blood!

          • Senior April 19, 2018 (10:21 am)


            you clearly don’t understand, unfortunate you don’t recognize that this ongoing taxing impacts people in a  negative way, I don’t believe that low or moderate seniors who have fixed income should be sacrificed for programs that have not demonstrated positive outcomes

            the incremental increases are forcing many of us who are on the cusp to have to make decisions about our ability to stay in our homes

            it is shameful the lack of empathy demonstrated, the mayor and our communities have got to find solutions for funding that does not always hit the proptery owner, and show outcomes that are positive

            the increase will be difficult for many of us, I’m glad for you it doesn’t impact you negatively,  I never thought after 45 years of working I would be taxed out of my home, 16.9 % thus year, that’s real money , unfortunate you and others don’t have the same empathy for seniors as you do for healthy able bodied young folks who can find ways to finance their college education should they want to

      • Flimflam April 18, 2018 (8:19 pm)

        “Literally replacing expired levies” literally means they wouldn’t,t expire….

      • Helpful April 18, 2018 (11:16 pm)

        This latte analogy is deceptive. You could make the tax seem even more affordable by breaking it down to cost per minute- now only a cheap-skate would complain!

        Instead, lets call it what it really is- $250 per month X 84 months = $1750. 

        On top of your painfully high and ever increasing taxes, this program costs each homeowner $1750.

        • Helpful April 18, 2018 (11:37 pm)

          Oops! Correction-

          $250 a year X 7 years = $1750

          • AMD April 19, 2018 (8:46 am)

            So I will personally pay less in seven YEARS’ worth of taxes than I paid in four MONTHS’ worth of student loan payments.  And then multiple people can avoid being saddled with the same kind of debt my generation has been.  Thank you for breaking down the math in a way that it makes even MORE sense to vote yes for me.

            And, yes, I qualified (and got) PELL and SEOG grants as well as scholarships.  I attended an in-state public school. I did work study.   College is very expensive.  And there is no circumstance where I’m going to be okay with people paying hundreds of dollars a month in loan paybacks so I can save a few dollars a month for myself.  The payoff is worth every penny to me.

      • Rick April 19, 2018 (8:00 am)

        “It’s only one latte a month”, you can afford that. I’ve decided that for you. Oh, wait, it’s only two. Err, I meant three. Actually four. Or did I mean five. Heck, let’s just round it up to ten. Or twenty or so. Seattle mantra. And I’m sure the money is spent prudently. Oh yeah, almost forgot. “It’s for the kids” ya know. Shame on you.

      • Also John April 19, 2018 (8:07 am)

        @AMD….  Where are you getting $7/month?  I know what you did.  You’re deducting the two levy’s soon to expire from the proposed and coming up with the $7/month.  Are you 100% positive that’s how it’s going to work?

        How do you know it’s not an additional $249/yr above what we’re currently are paying even after the other two levy’s are removed?  The City has not made that clear to me….


        • AMD April 19, 2018 (10:18 am)

          Because the levies are expiring and this one is replacing them.  The levies expire automatically.  There needs to be a renewal levy approved for that dollar amount to remain part of your monthly bill.  No one is proposing renewing the levies AND adding this one.  They’re clear this is a replacement.

          I got the $7 figure by using what those proposing the levy are actually saying and doing, doing my own math to reach a per month figure (since that’s where I’d see the increase… in my mortgage payments), and then rounding up because $7 is a faster number to type and talk about than $6.58.

          I am not interested in working myself up over tax increases above what anyone is proposing.  

          • Dor April 19, 2018 (5:43 pm)

            You can pay all of everyone’s college education- but times are tough to be owning in Seattle, and I am tired of paying too much money for Seattle to forcibly squander it away..

  • Senior April 18, 2018 (6:04 pm)

    All important but as a senior on a fixed income but not so low income I just can’t afford one more proptery tax, I’m already having to make choices between heat and medication, but qualify for nothing just over by 15 dollars a month for any exception, I’m so depressed I can’t afford to barely live in my home here in seattle

  • chemist April 18, 2018 (6:45 pm)

    Crosscut gives the average cost of the prior levies at $170/yr

    In real dollars for homeowners, the new measure would
    mean a $249 per year tab on a home valued at $665,000. Calculating
    exactly how much of an increase that may mean is challenging — the
    previous two levies were estimated to cost homeowners $170 a year, but
    valuations have changed enormously since those were passed.

    I’m not sure how much I trust a number where someone doesn’t really understand how levy mill rates get adjusted to collect the appropriate dollar amount even when average valuations change, but it sounds like this replaces expiring levies + adds 46% to what they previously collected from the average home.

  • Cough it up April 18, 2018 (6:46 pm)

    The massive property tax increase the state has imposed on King County to fund education just isn’t enough to appease Durkan, apparently. I’d say I regret voting for her, but then we’d have all around imbecile Carey Moon in office, which would probably be worse. Lose-lose situation in retrospect. 

  • Fire Ball April 18, 2018 (7:03 pm)

    Mo Money, Mo Money, No Money!

  • MJ April 18, 2018 (7:25 pm)

    Its time for the City to require full transparency in the costing, I for one want to see the cost identified as a rate per $1,000 of value.  Another item is its time to require landlords to segregate out the portion of each months rent that goes to pay property taxes.

    April 30th is right around the corner first half property tax is due, a stark reminder of a huge cost item that the City politicians keep making worse.

    As an alternative revenue source I would suggest taxing junk food, like sin taxes.  Also City spending needs to be looked into.


  • aa April 18, 2018 (7:27 pm)

    Full disclosure- I have not done any research.  i don’t understand this push to offer free college.  I think it’s ridiculous.  There are a low income loans and grants available, lots of people work and go to school, why this desire to offer free college?  Does everyone have a right to a college education?  Sure if they want to find a way to pay for it.  Why do government officials think we should fund that? I’d rather give my money to ‘senior’. 

    • heartless April 18, 2018 (9:08 pm)


      Here are a couple answers:

      Some people believe education is important enough that it should be free.

      Other people look at it from the perspective of limiting later social & monetary costs–essentially, allow more people to go to college and fewer people will wind up committing crimes or being on welfare or not having health insurance (all significant and costly burdens).

      There are even entire countries (and New York, actually, to some degree) that offer free college: Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, France.

      Hope this helps.

      • Rick April 19, 2018 (8:56 am)

        Driving a nice car is important also but I don’t think I can tax you for that. Maybe if I moved to Germany,Sweden,Norway,Finland,Iceland or France. Yeah,that should do the trick. Maybe a nice socialist country where I won’t have to work for the things I deserve.

  • MikeinWS April 18, 2018 (7:46 pm)

    Another tax on the property owners.  If I had any trust in them to spend the money correctly I would go along with it.  She and her dem cronies are ruining this city.  

  • Chris April 18, 2018 (7:52 pm)

    In the http://www.kingcounty.gov/assessor website, there is information for those 62 this year and making $40,000 or less on getting a “Senior Citizen & Disabled Persons Reduction in Property Taxes.”   They have a form to fill out, and all the info regarding this is in site.   They also have a phone number 206-296-3920.   Perhaps this will be helpful to some.    They indicate that they will assist in filling out form needed.  

    Hopefully this can help some be able to stay in their home.   

  • Senior April 18, 2018 (8:32 pm)

    Oh it’s more complicated than 40k a year, between my Medicare premium and my proptery tax which is my most expensive yearly cost over 100 week, they seal your proptery tax but no reduction

    it is not helpful for those who are seniors, own their home and played by the rules, I took out student loans in the70s and paid them back which others can do as well.our society in Seattle are forgetting and raping those who are older and on very fixed incomes, I’m not asking for a handout or a pity party but for our leaders to creative on how we fund items and think about personal responsibility if you want college there are ways you can do it yourself, might take longer but imagine you will value it more if you work for it versus a handout

    • Jort April 18, 2018 (10:17 pm)

      Why is it always “raping” with this type of viewpoint? The other one that seems to be closely associated is “shove it down our throats.”


  • Leonard April 18, 2018 (8:34 pm)

    Seattle home owners can expect an approximate $800-$900 property tax increase from the state. These dollars will be used to fund education in other parts of the state.

    The city is misleading the public when they state Seattle will have an influx of dollars.   The state plans on decreasing the amount of levy funding the district can collect.  Levy funding now funds 20% operational costs.  The city is putting the district’s levy funds at risk; both capital and operations.  Seattle will have a levy 3 short months after the city asks for a massive increase.

    Thus far, the campaign paid $41K to conduct a poll.  I expect this to be a very heavily funded campaign. You are about to get run over.   https://crosscut.com/2018/04/tax-fatigue-durkan-unveils-education-levy

    • nfitz April 19, 2018 (10:27 am)

      Yep, I think many are missing the point of the recent relentless property tax increases locally (Housing Levy, Move Seattle, ST3) and now including the state increase. It’s about accumulative effect not this single initiative. I think more insight is needed where our current tax dollars are going before requesting new dollars…

  • 1994 April 18, 2018 (8:44 pm)

    Why all this funding for preschools from the city? Low wage workers already can get child care subsidy from the city and the state.  And the state Dept of Early Learning has been working for years to improve child care providers skills  to boost their early learning efforts. Seems like a duplication of funding sources.

  • JayDee April 18, 2018 (8:47 pm)

    According to the SeaTimes, the old levies were $293MM. The “replacement” levy would be $636MM. On top of this year’s 25% property tax increase? So roughly $ $343MM of an increase just for this measure. I strongly disagree with this. Did my income increase by >100% in the last 7 years? Did yours? Survey says…Nope. We need to vote this type of increase down or the city and other interests will keep asking for more.

  • BB April 18, 2018 (8:48 pm)

    So people who own their homes are asked to pay for other peoples kids to go to college? Why aren’t people who are renting being asked to contribute?

    • Rentor April 18, 2018 (9:30 pm)

      because renters don’t get to take a massive tax deduction from mortgage insurance every year and still have massive monthly payment each month to afford to live in greater seattle area.

      How about the legalized weed revenue?  Can we tax that? Wheres all that revenue going?

      • BB April 18, 2018 (9:43 pm)

        You do realize people pay their mortgages off eventually?  We are close to that and I have to put two kids through college…and I don’t expect my neighbors to be taxed to pay for them.

        • Also John April 19, 2018 (8:15 am)

          Thank you BB……  It’s nice to see a parent step up and say I’ll pay for my children..  I made the decision to not have children yet I still pay for them.

          @Renter…..I have no mortgage.  I worked hard and paid for my degree and continued working hard to pay off my home. 

    • Diane April 19, 2018 (1:05 am)

      renters do also pay property taxes, via huge rent increases 

      • BB April 19, 2018 (6:38 am)

        Good talking point…property tax increases make housing unaffordable for everyone!

    • Mok4315 April 19, 2018 (7:14 am)

      We do pay. My rent goes up by $50 or $100 every time there’s a surge in property tax. My landlord is struggling to break even, so I don’t blame her. I blame all the voters and city leaders who don’t understand fiscal responsibility. 

  • Jack sparra April 18, 2018 (8:52 pm)

    Please stooooop taxing me…I’m broke. And will be even worse off when I have to pay to use downtown streets…please wake up seattle!!!!!

  • Jonnie Thurston April 18, 2018 (8:58 pm)

    Dislike.  I guess time for another Mayor who cares about working families.  Stop taxing the middle class.

    Spend the money you have more wisely….. Also clean up the homeless mess $14,000 per person come on!   

  • TJ April 18, 2018 (9:19 pm)

    Progressives creating more entitlements all the time. Free college now? Turns out nothing is free. My taxes went way up, well over $1000 on the state budget increase alone, which is supposed to take care of McCleary and get rid of local operating levies. Yet it looks like our levies will be higher. Ridiculous, especially when you can bet our schools will still say they are underfunded. Quit expanding kindergarden and giving free college, which are not part of core K-12 education, the supposed “paramount duty” of the state, if we are going to continue to hear we aren’t funding that.

    • Huh? April 19, 2018 (8:37 am)

      TJ, I made a response below to someone else who had a similar point–just to briefly recap, there are arguments that free college has enough economic benefits to make it feasible.  Aside from if it’s our duty or obligation or anything to offer it, it might more than pay for itself (debatable, but then what isn’t these days).

  • Profit feal April 18, 2018 (9:45 pm)


    Great question, that’s the catch Durkin’s counting on. Renters shamelessly vote yes thinking no skin off their nose but they DO pay they just don’t have the foresight to see their landlord’s property tax going up as well. So what does the landlord do? Duh, raise the rent. I’m not directing duh at you BB, I’m directing it at renters. Wake up renters and realize that you too will be paying if you vote yes. And really, what the hell is going on with property taxes and expecting those who own to pay through the nose for every new idea coming down the pipe. Spread the love, or pain I should say. If Durkin wants equal education collect for it equally and not from a select group of citizens. Enough property tax all ready, she is really sucking so far.

  • WSB April 18, 2018 (9:57 pm)

    Please, no “us vs. them” with renters/property owners. There’s always someone who wants to believe it’s “just renters” voting for property taxes. Sorry, it’s not. We’ve had this discussion before:


    Changing the taxing system is the issue here. And of course, whether you believe these things are worth public funding or not.

    Speaking of which, the levy as proposed by the mayor isn’t necessarily what will make it to the ballot. Councilmember Herbold spoke at tonight’s Morgan Community Association meeting (story to come tomorrow) and said as much. So share your opinions with the council – council@seattle.gov – which will have last say on what actually gets sent to voters for approval or rejection. – TR

    • TreeHouse April 18, 2018 (10:27 pm)

      Thank you Tracey. I’m a single family homeowner and I will vote for the measure because I believe education is a top priority for a functional and sustainable society. 

      People continually reject the idea of an income tax here so everything has to be done through property taxes which is regressive. Rather than make Jeff Bezos pony up a significant amounts of money (his net worth grew $28.6 BILLION in 2018 alone), we can have the retired people continue to pony up the money. Keep voting against progressive taxation and this will only continue. 

      • Helpful April 18, 2018 (11:32 pm)

        Voting no to crazy tax increases is not a vote against education. 

        Did anyone happen to notice how Seattle used $200M of tax money to address homelessness? That money is bye bye..

        • Huh? April 19, 2018 (8:33 am)

          Well, it kinda is a vote against education since a big goal of the levy is to let more kids attend preschool.

          And yes, Seattle spends money on dealing with homelessness.  And yes, after money is spent…it tends to be “bye bye”.  I’m having some trouble following you here…  Did you want them to spend the money and then still have it?  Or do you think Seattle shouldn’t spend money on the issue of homelessness?

      • Anonymous Coward April 19, 2018 (4:47 am)

          You mentioned Bezos change in net worth in the context of an income tax; are you thinking of an income tax or a wealth tax?  Because I’m struggling to see how an income tax could be charged against unrealized investment gains?

  • MJ April 18, 2018 (10:51 pm)

    Rentor – What massive deduction are you talking about, it got Trumped in his unfair tax cuts and is now capped.

    Maybe another alternative is to use the employee Head Tax on large businesses to fund preschool education and let voters vote via levy whether more tax dollars should be spent on the homeless issue?

    And at the College level the students need to have skin in the game.  The failure at the College level is due to the State politicians essentially taxing students via the massive tuition hikes during the last recession that has never fully been negated.  Tuition at State colleges 40 years ago was students 25% state 75 and now it has flipped to 75 25.  

  • Mike April 19, 2018 (6:34 am)

    I won’t vote for any more increases in any tax.  Our ‘leadership’ has proven they fail to utilize funds appropriately and efficiently.  Sawant has shifted funds we’ve voted to approve to other projects she wants funded, this alone has been a huge issue for me.  I’m done, no more.  I’ve continuously voted to approve more and more, but only see more failure in the system.  Those benefiting are not the ones we’re being sold on to help.  It’s time for developers and large corporations to start putting in their fair share.  Small businesses are being pushed out of West Seattle, fixed income elderly who’ve outright owned their homes here for decades are being forced to sell, etc.  I’m done, no more.  

  • Mark Schletty April 19, 2018 (7:18 am)

    If current tax is $170/yr and it raises about $300m, how does $240/yr raise about $600m? Math seems fuzzy. It looks like it would take $340/ yr to get to the $600m level. That’s close to $30 a month. Fixed income people simply can’t afford that much. More of Seattle’s notorious low- balling of costs?

  • T Rex April 19, 2018 (7:34 am)

    Free college? Give me a break, nothing is free people. People can still go to college with all the grants and loans that are available, it just requires a lot of work finding the right offer that fits your budget. My company helps pays for people to go to school as long as they keep their grades in good standing. If you don’t, you get no second chance.

    Or how about this, you work during the day and go to school at night or visa versa. It’s called hard work to get what you want out of your life. Nothing was handed to me, I choose not to go to college but got into an industry that I educated myself in and I am living a very comfortable life. But it was HARD WORK and DEDICATION on my part.

    There is also the military as well. Do your 4 years and get some help with college AND help buying a home. What a concept! 

    In the end, the harder you work at something the sweeter it is when you get to your life goals. Nothing is free. But boy oh boy some people sure think they should get things handed to them.

    • Huh? April 19, 2018 (8:13 am)

      Moral and philosophical arguments aside there are solid economic arguments for free higher education.

      Roughly they are:

      Fewer people on government assistance

      Less money wasted on people who start college but don’t finish (most people drop out, and they most often drop out due to finances

      Better educated workforce

      Lower crime

      More political participation

      Now do those benefits outweigh the expense?  Who the hell knows, really, but a lot of smart people are arguing about it and thinking it might actually save costs.

  • BJG April 19, 2018 (8:20 am)

    The mayor said homeowners will support the newest favorite tax when they “understand what they will be getting for their money.” Here seems to be the problem. The City thinks it will just go get some more cash whenever it wants. It never occurs that there IS no more. Property taxed homeowners really, really are tapped out. Crazy disconnect downtown! Voting is better than complaining.

  • anonyme April 19, 2018 (9:21 am)

    Progressive programs are fine, but require progressive thinking in how to fund them.  Continually adding on to property taxes is the opposite.  (BTW, the senior property tax exemption is a discount program that is not immune to increases due to levies, etc.).  As someone else pointed out, some of these programs are duplicative. It may take a village, but parents need to be fiscally responsible for their children – including paying a fair and representative level of taxes.

  • ballardite April 19, 2018 (9:55 am)

    Sad this levy will come on the ballot before the K-12 school levies.  And sad the college is combined with the Family and Education levy and the preschool levy.  I might have voted for those two and the following K-12 school levy but with the College levy combined together with Preschool and F&E it’s a no from me.

  • Stephen April 19, 2018 (10:36 am)

    Enough already with the property tax levies.  This is a bad way to fund projects.

  • Help April 19, 2018 (11:38 am)

    I tried to click on the full plan but only got the 404 not found response.

  • MJ April 19, 2018 (12:14 pm)

    In today’s Seattle times Mayor Durkin is promoting a tax on business to the tune of $75 million a year.  Why not use this resource to pay for preschool and school support instead of a property tax?

    And then let voters decide if they want to pay for more spending on the homeless issue via property tax?

    • WSB April 19, 2018 (12:39 pm)

      She’s not “promoting” it – that’s the one making its way through the council, and she wrote a letter expressing some concerns. This morning the two West Seattle-residing City Councilmembers met with local businesspeople; our story is in the works. And the mayor’s letter will be part of it. – TR

  • Jake April 19, 2018 (12:29 pm)

    I have a idea to cut the college spend in half.  Students take on student loans.  If they graduate with a degree from SSC, lets pay off their loans.  If they do not, lets not.

  • WS Resident April 19, 2018 (12:32 pm)

    I am calling BS on all this.  Our leaders keep pounding the drum…..Seattle is not affordable.  Yet they keep raising taxes.  This affects everyone whether you rent or own.  I voted for this levy when it first came about because my child was going to be starting preschool.  I thought that’s great I can send him to pre-school without breaking the bank.  Turns out the money dried real quick and I was not able to take advantage of it.  The city decide to only give the benefit to people below a certain income level.  That’s great for them but  the average middle class family got screwed.  

    I say no, no, no and hell no.  

  • skeeter April 19, 2018 (1:48 pm)


    Why are folks so obsessed with the college portion?  That’s small. 
    The majority of this proposed tax is going toward preschool.  The question we should be discussing is
    whether Seattle taxpayers should pay for Seattle children to attend preschool
    or if preschool should be paid by parents. 

    I think we’d all agree taxpayers are on the hook for K-12
    education.  Should we extend that to
    Pre-K as well?  It’s an interesting
    question to debate. 

  • zark00 April 19, 2018 (2:11 pm)

    Isn’t it true that Seattle voters in the 70’s created the mess we’re in now?  We used to get 85+% of tax revenue from property taxes right?  Seattleites in the 70’s voted to limit that, and instead we got a very high sales tax and sin taxes.  So if you were around, and voting, in the 70’s, aren’t you just reaping what you sowed? 

    I’m not a fan of taxes, adulting stinks, but we have some stuff to take care of and it’s not free.  How about we skip the fancy train, buy some buses instead, take a stab at funding public schools and maybe stop trying to rip off poor people with sin taxes.  If you own a home in this market, nobody has any sympathy for you.

  • Jamie April 19, 2018 (2:18 pm)

    Where is this money going? According to this article at KUOW.org the pre-school program will serve around 2,700 students a year, which is about half of the city’s pre-K population. At an annual cost of $51.9 million dollars a year that works out to $19,222 dollars per student, per year. Either this is some seriously expensive pre-school (UW tuition is about $11,000 a year) or I’m missing something.

    • heartless April 19, 2018 (3:42 pm)

      Yeah, I agree–maybe there is infrastructure funding in there somewhere?  I have no way of knowing…  

      I’m hoping we’ll get more specific numbers/proposals/plans well before we need to vote.

  • Wseattlite April 19, 2018 (2:28 pm)

     Sooo, nope.  It is a misnomer that education gets better because more money is thrown at it.  Money can and will help to a certain point, but it does not guarantee a quality education.  I do wish there was some way to “opt out” of allowing my taxes to be spent on fancy brochures and marketing campaigns to support initiatives I do not support.  I am curious if and equal amount of funds could be spent on supporting alternative campaigns?

    • heartless April 19, 2018 (3:40 pm)

      Leaving aside the debate over whether “education gets better because more money is thrown at it”, that’s not really what the bulk of this levy is about–

      It’s not about poorly funded versus well funded preschool, it’s about no preschool at all versus preschool.

      Remember that the bulk of the levy would go to providing preschool to kids that did not have access to it previously–that’s very different than the debate you were framing.

      As for opting out of paying taxes?  I mean, if you’re serious I guess you have three options:


      Get involved in politics (volunteer for the no on the levy campaign/run for office/etc)

      Stop paying taxes and see what happens

      • Wseattlite April 20, 2018 (12:21 am)

        Heartless, Thank you kindly for confirming that my tax dollars once taken into the Cities hands are completely beyond the tax payers control. That so even if used to propoganda ideas not in align with with the taxpayers wishes.  Apparently the only avenue to counter such highly funded promotional campaigns is to fund a different marketing initiative out of pocket, should any remain after haven it taken to then create what never existed in the first place for this tax payer to contest.  You have hit the nail on the head as it were.  Oh, cool story about preschool.  Part of the story. Only a part. But please, keep highlighting the components of the bill that will pull on the heartstrings of those who can’t see the bigger picture.  It’s sure worked well for The politicians to date. No need to change your strategy.  

        • to be fair April 20, 2018 (9:23 pm)

          Oh, cool story about preschool.”


          You were the person who wrote that it was a “misnomer” (completely wrong word, by the way) that the money spent increases the quality of education.  But the argument is that 2/3 of the levy would go to giving education to those who didn’t have access to it before.  What are you not understanding?

          None of your points are being taken seriously, and I think it’s because you are not listening to anyone else.  You bemoan paying taxes but don’t consider what you can do to change the system. 

          Apparently the only avenue to counter such highly funded promotional campaigns is to fund a different marketing initiative out of pocket, should any remain after haven it taken to then create what never existed in the first place for this tax payer to contest.”

          So to be fair it’s a little hard to parse your writing–but again, it sounds like you are upset that you feel you don’t have a voice.  Like the person you’re responding to said, YOU DO!  You can vote–you can encourage other to vote!  You can volunteer for campaigns!  You can move!  You can run for office!  Nobody will vote for you!  But you can totally run!

          Sorry–I’m sure you’ll get some votes, probably fewer than Goodspaceguy, but still… 

          Good night! 

          • Wseattleite April 21, 2018 (3:20 am)

            To be fair and heartless, I appreciate your contribution to the discussion, and the correct grammatical verbiage of my communication. I am always open to learn. Honestly, I feel that you guys and I are on the same side of the equation here. I WANT to support education. I have spent considerable time and $$ in figuring out just how to do that without absentmindedly supporting an Industry Machine.  After all, much money is at stake and I struggle to see how it helps actual students, having a peek behind the curtain to see where the money goes. Oligarchies are often established by “elected leaders of the community”. They then have control of a large percentage of publicly provided resources.  When some of those resources are then allocated to market ideas that were not directly linked to their initial winning candidate status, and appear to favor decision making interest groups then a slippery slope appears. In all good conscience, the elected officials move ahead with what they feel best, and if at odds with the voters, then the decision is made that the voters are not as smart as they are and they need to be directed otherwise (for the voters’ own good of course).

            i will pause here to point out that ANY citizen is right now empowered to provide money to education, be it through scholarships or endowments or otherwise.  That includes you.  YOU  how much are you contributing?  If the effort is so noble, then taxation should not be necessary, correct?  Because people will clearly support it and donate  so what’s the problem?

            Oh, the problem is that the people that are pushing this do not trust the public to “give their  fair share”, or believe that the tax base they sign to pull funds from does not understand what they actually can afford.  Thus, a tax MUST be implemented because clearly people are not smart enough to know any of this.

            I would challenge you to consider that some of us actually know what we can afford, and the value the money can provide.  Should you know better, I will provide to you wire transfer account information so that YOU can make up the difference.

            Before enforcing a mandatory loss from the voting base, I suggest a call for volunteer contributions for those who can afford it to support this cause.  If that does not work, what’s the problem?  Are we too stupid? 


  • Jethro Marx April 19, 2018 (5:31 pm)

    As vocal as the “we’re getting taxed to death and just can’t afford it anymore and taxes suck…” crowd is, they appear to be in the minority because every time a tax comes up for vote, the majority of Seattle voters seem to go for it.

     Maybe some kind of sales tax on real estate would be more equitable, since those paying it would presumably either be able to afford Seattle real estate or be reaping the benefit of the market craziness by selling.

     I’m tired of hearing people say they never had anything handed to them- yes, you did.

    • Dor April 19, 2018 (5:55 pm)

      I never had anything handed to me. 

      • heartless April 19, 2018 (8:59 pm)

        Were there streetlights when you were little?

        When you were a teenager, did you get poisoned because federal oversight like the FDA didn’t exist?

        Your comment isn’t cute, it’s just sad.

      • Jethro Marx April 19, 2018 (11:58 pm)

        Well, now I’m intrigued, Dor. Tell us more; you have surely lived an interesting life.

      • Dor April 20, 2018 (9:43 am)

        I wasn’t cute. I was a sad poisoned teen. We had no streetlights. Nobody paid for my college – I never got nuffin.

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