VIDEO: Housing Levy briefing, Q&A in West Seattle

As you’ll hear the city Office of Housing director Steve Walker explain toward the start of our video, last night’s second West Seattle briefing on the proposed Housing Levy expansion/renewal was scheduled for a variety of reasons – because it was requested, because the first one was in a small room, and because on that previous night the slide projector didn’t work. So if you couldn’t be there last night, but have questions about the levy, which is expected to go to a vote this August or November – watch and/or listen. Many of the questions/concerns focused on whether this is doing enough to help, given the cost, and also on how increasing property taxes are affecting payers. You’ll find lots of info about the levy here.

13 Replies to "VIDEO: Housing Levy briefing, Q&A in West Seattle"

  • george February 24, 2016 (1:28 pm)

    Just got my tax bill and I have been taxed enough.  No more increases

  • wsea February 24, 2016 (4:14 pm)

    @george – The November tax levy will most likely pass since others have more disposable income than you or I.  I’ve learned to redistribute my budget by reducing spend in other areas.  In the past 3 years, I’ve started biking to work, spend less on eating out, purchased large items in oregon (i’m down there anyway), cancelled cable, reduced energy cost, re-negotiated all contracts,  etc..  You would be surprised where your income goes and where to budget to negate any increase.  Being a one income family requires me to creative with little impact to the family.   It seems to be working and i’m actually happier today.   

    • candrewb February 25, 2016 (5:46 am)

      “others have more disposable income than you or I.” Like take Mr. Walker for example. Him we pay over $135K per year to advocate for higher taxes for the rest of us.

    • wetone February 25, 2016 (11:39 am)

      WSEA,   you said  “In the past 3 years, I’ve started biking to work, spend less on eating out, purchased large items in oregon (i’m down there anyway), cancelled cable, reduced energy cost, re-negotiated all contracts,  etc..”

      That’s great but what are you going to re-negotiate next year and the year after ?     unsustainable for long term livelihood. 

      • wsea February 25, 2016 (12:09 pm)

        @wetsone – I can only solve todays problems for myself so its moot to think about the future.  Maybe there will be more increases and maybe not.  Maybe I’ll get a huge bonus, a new job, a rich uncle I did not know, etc..  

        As opposed to responding with saying things are unsustainable, I believe is better to respond with solutions or ideas.   I’ve been help friends stay above the waterline  and seems to help them and I hope it helps others. 

  • New thinking needed February 24, 2016 (7:11 pm)

    Hey WSEA – I never had cable, nor a cell phone, rarely dine out, can’t afford to do my larger shopping in OR, not able to bike to work due to my family situation, but did so for a number of years previously, heat is set at 67, drive a car that is 20 years old, my house carpet is 24 years old & needs replacing….I can’t cut any more from my budget and I can’t afford to be taxed any more….I like my job so getting a higher paying job is not a suitable option at this time…nor may I be qualified! So – the city needs to watch how much it is taxing homeowners who are barely hanging on due to limited income, and can’t afford the above mentioned things that many just assume everyone has already. I applaud your suggestions! for those who may be able to benefit from them. 

  • ChannelingLewisBlack February 24, 2016 (9:31 pm)

    My property tax bill was up 32% over last year driven by a 30% increase in valuation.  They don’t need to increase the levy – I don’t think they’ve increased spending 32% (at least not on police).  Perhaps the city can live with the windfall and not ask for another levy.  How is making housing less affordable helping it be more affordable?  Let’s try some income redistribution vs wealth redistribution for a change.

  • joel February 24, 2016 (10:36 pm)

    after the jungle killings the mayor himself said the millions spent on the homeless is not doing any good.  so why does he think getting more money is going to do any good? – spend the money you already have wisely before asking for more money.

  • Junctionite February 25, 2016 (5:16 am)

    My property taxes went up 15% in one year, my pay went up 2% and I am probably one of the lucky ones there. I need a break, I’m voting no.

  • Nick February 25, 2016 (6:58 am)

    When does the shrinking middle class in Seattle get a tax break or subsidized living enough with the property tax increases that don’t help the middle class who are getting taxed out of this city

  • Recovering Urbanist February 25, 2016 (10:48 am)

    Unfortunately, this Mayor and council take all their advice from, Cascade Bike Club, and developers. Homeowners have been vilified for liking their neighborhoods as they generally are (and opposing HALA handouts), while they are used as the ATM to bailout/fund various projects (Pronto, homelessness – Seattle Times article yesterday demonstrated that homelessness is a choice for many because they don’t want to live by the rules the rest of us follow, bike lanes used by all of 3% of residents). I’ll be voting now but anticipate many voters have been duped into believing this will be money well spent.

  • joel February 25, 2016 (1:07 pm)

    the Salvation Army runs 2 homeless shelters not far from the jungle and are never full.  the problem is to stay there you need to be actively looking for work….gee I wonder why the shelters are not full?  odd how the Mayor does not mention these beds going empty every night – let’s fill these beds first before raising taxes yet again.

    • WSB February 25, 2016 (1:14 pm)

      Just to correct what seems to be a misperception: The Housing Levy projects/programs are NOT all about homelessness. They also include, as noted in the copious amount of information linked/provided (the following is just from some of the collateral available at last night’s meeting):

      *Homebuyer assistance program, which the city says has helped 800+ families
      *Homeowner stability assistance, “a new feature of the 2016 Levy”
      *”Produce and preserve 2,150 affordable apartments”
      *”Reinvest in 350 affordable apartments”
      *”Homelessness prevention program” for 4,500 families including “short-term rent assistance and stability services for families who are at imminent risk of eviction and homelessness”

      Again, follow the links in the story if you are truly interested in finding out what the $ is supposed to go for. Whether you agree with taxpayer money being spent for these things is everyone’s own decision to make, but if you are specifically focused on what is being spent to fight homelessness, this levy (and its predecessor) is not solely focused on that.

      P.S. Another story in our queue is the long-requested breakout of which levies and bonds are represented in the property taxes you pay now. – TR

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