Share story

Mayor Ed Murray’s plan for another tax increase to solve Seattle’s affordable-housing and homeless issues will have some unintended consequences.

I am a second-generation owner of a rental-housing business that has been offering 10 modest but well-maintained affordable apartments in Seattle for the past 55 years. In the face of steadily increasing property taxes and renter-focused regulations, we have worked hard to keep rents within reach of our tenants because in the rental-housing business, occupancy is better than vacancy.

It has come to the point where my tenants can no longer afford the tax- and regulation-related increases in their monthly rents that are necessary for me to stay in business. I’ve started to consider some of the steady stream of offers from developers who want to replace my building with an upscale condo.

And so the unintended consequence of yet another property-tax increase on top of the massive transit levy will likely push me out of business. The result will be that my affordable-housing units will go away, and some of my tenants will become homeless.

Paul Heins, Redmond