ELECTION RESULTS: Seattle’s Families, Education, Preschool, Promise levy approved; mayor to return to South Seattle College for celebration

8:09 PM: Here are first results for the big city levy on tonight’s ballot – the Families, Education, Preschool, Promise levy, a combination and expansion of two expiring levies:

Yes – 164,083 – 68.5%
No – 75,299 – 31.5%

10:26 PM: Mayor Jenny Durkan has thanked voters for supporting the plan; here’s her statement. In part, the levy passage fulfills a commitment she made in West Seattle on her second day in office (WSB coverage here) – promising to expand what has been the 13th Year Promise program, one year of “free” tuition at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) for graduates from some Seattle public high schools.

(WSB photo, November 2017 at South Seattle College)

And as we wrote this, we learned the mayor will be back at SSC tomorrow morning – with Seattle Colleges Chancellor Shouan Pan and Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau – to celebrate the levy’s passage. We’ll be there.

50 Replies to "ELECTION RESULTS: Seattle's Families, Education, Preschool, Promise levy approved; mayor to return to South Seattle College for celebration"

  • Cbj November 6, 2018 (8:27 pm)

    Slick of  the mayor to put these together, pre school and college levy, if they had been seperated out doubt the college free tuition would have passed, good luck next year with the school levies, doubt voters will pass, tired of the taxation and the raping of the proptery owner,  in discussion with school board member they are concerned voter fatigue, I for one tired of paying for taxes that have less than great outcomes, 

    • heartless November 6, 2018 (9:02 pm)

      I dunno, reading your comment it seems like we need all the education funding we can get.

  • J November 6, 2018 (8:52 pm)

    Does anyone know if the free college tuition will also be available for seattle high school graduates of prior years, or if it will only be for graduates going forward?

  • Michael Waldo November 6, 2018 (8:56 pm)

    What is wrong with Seattle voters.  We have an affordable housing crisis and they just voted to raise property taxes again. Are people stupid and don’t realize that they are raising their taxes, by a lot?

    • Jort November 7, 2018 (9:51 am)

      Maybe people aren’t stupid … maybe they just disagree with your viewpoint?

      • Evita November 7, 2018 (3:46 pm)

        Goodness,  I may agree with the sentiment of the levy but who in their right mind can give anymore money to the city council and still believe it will be spent wisely?It’s as if are finding ourselves in the Evita musical:“When the money keeps rolling in you don’t ask howThink of all the people guaranteed a good time nowEva’s called the hungry to her, open up the doorsNever been a fund like the Foundation Eva Peron”Perhaps the money would be better spent on free financial classes for all voters.

  • Spooled November 6, 2018 (9:00 pm)

    Anything with “for the children” even close to it passes without question.  Pay for Your Own Children and I’ll pay for mine.  Seattle hasn’t met a self-imposed tax it doesn’t like.

  • 1994 November 6, 2018 (9:24 pm)

    Wonderful programs but reaallly hard on property owners making $60,000 a year salary. As prop taxes go up, I have to cut corners somewhere and not many corners left to cut. 

  • NYC November 6, 2018 (9:35 pm)

    One of the reasons I didn’t vote for this mayor was her free community college idea.  I questioned where the money would come from to pay for the tuition.  I have my answer.  I paid for my own community college and university by working!  Now, I make too much money to qualify for food stamps.  But I don’t feel rich when more than half of my paycheck goes to my mortgage.  I too am tired of paying taxes where I don’t receive a direct benefit.  My job doesn’t give cost of living raises.  State worker.  With the Seattle min wage going up to $16 next year, pretty soon, I’ll be making min wage.  Yay me. 

    • CAM November 6, 2018 (10:52 pm)

      Sorry, this doesn’t make a ton of sense. State workers have received a cost of living increase every year for the past 3 years at least. Some years the increase was split between July and January. Also, some of us pay not only our mortgage but massive student loans. I have sympathy for your circumstances but there are a lot of people out there in a much worse position than you. 

      • NYC November 7, 2018 (6:40 pm)

        Driving through Seattle and seeing the homeless, I know people have it worst than me.  What I have a problem with is when  I work hard for money and to save and then something like this levy passes and I’m set back financially.  I make $21/hr and I own a home.  I saved up for years for the down payment and finally got priced out of my rental.  I don’t have student loans because I paid for my schooling at South, Central and UW by working.  I don’t own a smart phone, have only owned one car in my life and don’t have kids.  I live cheaply.  I’m sitting in my barely insulated home with the thermostat at 60 degrees.  Heck, I’ve even cut down on my showers.  This is more information than I care to share, I’m really trying to save money here.  Yet, I’m also fortunate.  Like having internet to post a comment here.  As for the State raises, when a cost of living raise isn’t adjusted for inflation; that’s not a cost of living raise. 

  • Mike November 6, 2018 (10:02 pm)

    Do we get the blood bank truck weekly in Seattle so we can bleed out safely?  I voted to block every levy with a tax increase, I’m tapped out. The property tax increase last year alone was an additional $3k+ on top of the prior years tax.  Family of four, one toilet house, bleeding out tax money.  Literally might be time to move.

    • zark00 November 7, 2018 (11:45 am)

      Trying to figure out how your property taxes went up by more than $3k – that doesn’t sound right, I think you might be getting ripped off by your lender or something.  Unless it’s a very very valuable home.  A $1.2M home only saw an additional $1500 in taxes in 2017 – which is still a lot – but over $3k increase would have to be like a $2.5M home right? 

      • Mike November 7, 2018 (6:02 pm)

        Nope my lender doesn’t determine my taxes.  Country assessment was ~$630k.  You can use Zillow and see how much home owners are being taxed year over year.

        • Mike November 7, 2018 (7:08 pm)


  • Abcgirl November 6, 2018 (10:17 pm)

    NYC you articulate a position that many of us share, I sometimes wonder if those who don’t actually own proptery understand  the direct relationship to the increase in taxes and the bill that the county sends to us in February, I honestly believe that renters don’t understand and visually seeing  the tax increase and the detail distribution of where the proptery taxes are allocated to  would be educational.   It’s not a critism but I just think it’s a bit more invisible , is there any politician out there  who will  stop asking for money and realize the direct relationship to property taxes and housing insecurity, middle income and seniors are suffering

    • CAM November 6, 2018 (10:55 pm)

      Renters know that tax increases raise their rent. And many home owners voted in support of this levy or it wouldn’t have passed. It isn’t that simple that you can blame one group of people for something you don’t like. 

    • Delridge Resident November 7, 2018 (1:01 pm)

      You can look at how proposed tax levies on the ballot would affect the tax burden on this year’s valuation of any property. Check it out here:https://localscape.spatialest.com/#kingcountyassessor/TaxPerhaps this can help translate its impact on rents.In my opinion the levies aren’t the issue, but tying it to fluctuating (aka rapidly rising) property values is. My taxes on this year’s property value would have changed by +$75-100 with Prop 1 in effect. However, my property tax in its entirety is going up about +$1000 because of the ~20% change in the valuation of the property itself.This is where people are truly getting burned. It’s not the extra $75 to $100 going toward preschool and college initiatives, or whatever levy is beimg debated, it’s the fact that those rates are ties to 20% year over year property value increases.

  • Seattlite November 6, 2018 (10:27 pm)

    This is a small price to pay so more kids won’t grow up to be the idiots that many adults are today

    • CAM November 6, 2018 (10:56 pm)

      Seattlite, on this day of division and party politics I’d like to say that I think this is the first time I remember you and I agreeing about something and it feels great to find common ground. 

  • SWC November 6, 2018 (10:54 pm)

    Seattlite since you seem to think it’s a small price to pay, will you pay for me?. that “small price” is more than I can afford, I’ve cut corners, use the  senior food bank, cut coupons.,and I’m literally being taxed out of my home, I’m glad you can afford it, let me know if your willing to pay that “small amount” on my behalf

    • DH November 7, 2018 (2:47 am)

      If you are an income qualified senior you can get property tax relief. Check out https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/assessor/Common-Questions/Seniorss.aspx

      • Diane November 7, 2018 (5:05 pm)

        that tax exemption is hard to qualify, and does NOT help the majority of seniors who are struggling to survive on limited SS income, who are renters, and who will be directly impacted by this with even more increased rents, because (yes renters are well aware) that landlords pass on property taxes to tenants

  • NYC November 6, 2018 (11:26 pm)

    Public high school is free and still students drop out.  I can only guess the reasons why and they don’t have to be all negative: pregnancy, would rather work, not good in school /testing.  Not all become idiots and some turn their lives around.  I don’t see a direct correlation between a free college tuition and dodging the idiot bullet.  I would have gladly voted to increase taxes in something like nicotine, gas or even sales tax.  Those are taxes I can avoid. Property taxes hurt.  I cringe every time I get that little postcard in the mail. 

  • NYC November 7, 2018 (12:01 am)

    WSB – please post when Durkan will be holding her press conference at South Seattle College tomorrow morning.  My alma mater, which I paid for by myself, working at QFC.  I’m so mad right now and also scared with the thought of property tax increases……I just remembered something.  What about Financial Aid?  Isn’t that suppose to help pay for college? Yes, some are loans but grants you don’t have to pay back.  Not to mention scholarships.  And there’s also work.  If someone wants to go to college, they’ll find a way.  It doesn’t have to be put upon property owners backs. 

  • DH November 7, 2018 (2:39 am)

    Glad this passed. I have a mortgage and no children. We need to support our community. I went to community college myself back in the day. I’d rather have young people going to college than tagging my fence.  So many people that complain about paying for this don’t realize how much more college costs now than the past. 

  • Matt November 7, 2018 (6:19 am)

    Why is this restricted to kids graduating from public high school?  Parents of kids in parochial schools still pay the same taxes everyone else does, so why are they locked out of the benefits?  Is there some assumption of “well if you can afford private high school you can most certainly afford public community college?”  Seems discriminatory to me.

  • Graciano November 7, 2018 (7:34 am)

    What happened to all the Lottery money that was to pay for all the school levy’s?Was this another bait and switch by our legislators?If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re probably to young.

    • WSB November 7, 2018 (7:40 am)

      Lottery money currently is going to charter schools.

    • Matt November 7, 2018 (8:01 am)

      Often (I haven’t bothered to do research on whether I can say “typically” here) lottery money goes into something like the school budget.  But then the budget-makers end up taking money that was previously allocated to schools, but not tied to required funding, and moves it around to other departments/pet projects.  Thus the schools end up with no actual increase in their budget.  Then the schools don’t have enough money and the city “has” to raise taxes, you know, “for the kids.”  So yeah, probably was a bait and switch in the end.

    • Peter November 7, 2018 (10:18 am)

      That was never the case. Lottery money going to public schools was just an advertising campaign by the lottery. Some of the money from the general fund that goes to public shools ultimately came form the lottery, but there is no direct funding of public schools by the lottery.

  • Delridge Resident November 7, 2018 (7:46 am)

    The massive increases in taxes generally haven’t been due to levies, at least from the stats I’ve seen. It’s the increase in property value.King County has a tax transparency tool that shows you how your property tax dollar amount will change based on ballot initiatives. This doesn’t include additional flat fees.This levy increased my tax amount by $75 on my current property value, but my property value from 2018 to 2019 went up 20%. The real killer is not being able to lock in the value of the property.

  • Richie November 7, 2018 (9:35 am)

    Nice.  It’s free for all in Seattle!

  • MJ November 7, 2018 (9:51 am)

    Property taxes are already too high.  I do not believe college should be free, low cost yes, students need to have some skin in the game.  Further daycare cost should be paid by the parents not taxpayers.  I pay for my daughter’s daycare cost and do not feel it is fair to be taxed to pay for someone else to get a free ride.

    • heartless November 7, 2018 (4:48 pm)

      MJ, I couldn’t agree more.  I am ashamed we live in a society where high school and middle school are free–you are absolutely right that “students need to have some skin in the game,” which is why I suggest we start a campaign to charge for all education.  NO MORE FREE RIDES!  (You’re with me, right?)

  • Peter November 7, 2018 (10:14 am)

    Oh yea. A massive property tax hike. Hooray. I certainly hope Seattle Public Schools weren’t counting on their levies passing next year. I was hoping to save my capacity to pay extra taxes for education for that, but there is no effing way in hell I’ll vote for them now. Enough is enough, and way too much is way too much.

  • Heehaw November 7, 2018 (12:09 pm)

    Every year it is the same thing, more taxes…will it ever end? 

  • Jort November 7, 2018 (12:18 pm)

    Despite hundreds, if not thousands, of comments from people harping on and on for  months about how this is going to be the first tax measure to be voted down because “Seattle voters have had enough with the clowncil,” it would appear that, once again, the comments section is not a reliable indicator of actual citizen sentiment. 

  • zark00 November 7, 2018 (12:26 pm)

    Not trying to insult anyone here but I do not understand the ‘massive’ tax increase statements – mine is increasing $85 from prop 1 passing.  Is there some other gotcha I’m missing here?  I get what Delridge Res is saying – home/land value keeps increasing and that’s costing a lot.   My prop tax is up over $500 from 2016 to 2018 from value increases.  But that’s still only $40 a month – not nothing, but certainly not an amount that would ever force us to have to move.  Really not being snarky here, just asking what I’m missing. 

    • Peter November 7, 2018 (1:07 pm)

      Since you ask, this is what you’re missing: When A is “only” $X per month, and B is “only” $Y per month, and C is “only” $Z per month, and it keeps going on like that, all those add up to thousands of dollars per year. It is misleading, to say the least, to dismiss how high our property taxes are by breaking it down into a bunch of tiny subcategories that are “only” $X per month. Those of us are not rich just can’t keep payimg more and more and more taxes. I don’t know about you, but I have to pay my whole property tax bill, not jus the “only” amount of some fraction of it.

      • zark00 November 7, 2018 (2:33 pm)

        I literally said the $40 a month is “not nothing” yet not enough to force us out of our home.  And I stated clearly that I was asking a legitimate question and not trying to be snarky.  And I was not being dismissive in any way.  You are being disingenuous but thanks, I guess, for your snotty ‘answer’.  So if your property taxes have gone up thousands per year, your house has to be worth at least a couple million or more – that’s just the math.  So what you’re saying is you’re not rich and $500 a year is too much, but, you own a home worth 4X the median in KC?  Um, ok – got it.

        • Peter November 7, 2018 (3:51 pm)

          As you stated, you were asking a legitimate question, and I gave you a legitimate answer. You didn’t like my answer, so you first accuse me of being  “disingenuous” and “snotty,” and then you misrepresent my answer as saying my property taxes have gone up thousands of dollars, which I clearly did not say, and go on to falsely claim that my house is worth a couple millions, which is so absurd it’s laughable. But hey, at least you’re not “snarky.” 

          • heartless November 7, 2018 (6:07 pm)

            As other people have tried to point out, the vast bulk of property tax increase is due to rises in property values, not due to levies like this.  I think Zark is being reasonable here, and I think you, Peter, are not making a convincing claim that the increase posed by this levy is a “massive” (your word) increase.  I think calling it a massive increase really is disingenuous–and while it is fine to be grumpy about the hike we should all try to hew a bit closer to the truth, especially these days.  

  • uncle loco November 7, 2018 (3:27 pm)

    Well, we’ll be paying more taxes again this year and the city will be collecting record revenue but at least the quality of life is deteriorating.

  • 1994 November 7, 2018 (6:32 pm)

    According to the WA Lottery web site, $126.8 Million goes to education, not just charter schools. The Seattle Times said Prop 1 would increase taxes $248 a year for the average home in Seattle. Currently 12% of my net income goes to property taxes. I understand what I get in return but I have less disposable income.

Sorry, comment time is over.