A new proposal would allow Seattle to build a $930 million war chest to fund transportation projects across the city but would pay for more than a third of the total with a mix of an increased commercial parking tax, an employee tax, transportation-related fees on developments, and a smaller, $600 million property tax levy.
The proposal from City Council member Nick Licata was released Tuesday in advance of a public hearing on Mayor Ed Murray’s Move Seattle Levy, a proposed $930 million in transportation funding planned to be powered fully by property taxes.
Licata said his new plan should reduce the burden on “those on fixed and low incomes” and, he said, give the transportation levy its best shot at being approved by voters this fall.
“I believe we need to consider the size of the levy, and examine alternative funding sources, in an effort to reach the $930 million goal,” Licata said about the new proposal. “We should also consider the risk that a large levy might be less likely to pass, and consider the potential consequences.”
The Urbanist blog looked at how the two proposals would stack up:
Today’s median housing price is $450,000, which would translate to a 2016 tax bill for the average homeowner of $176 under Licata’s levy plan versus $277 under the Mayor’s. Homeowners of median valued units will pay $136 in the current year for the soon-to-expire Bridging the Gap levy.
In a statement, the Downtown Business Association called Licata’s plan “the wrong message to send to employers that are looking to create jobs in Seattle and those that are already here,” KING TV reported.