The Christmas Eve exposé of Seattle’s government spending spree calls for some New Year’s resolutions.
Property-tax and utility increases are making the city unaffordable to ordinary citizens. Homeowners and renters who have invested our lives in Seattle are being priced out by rising costs imposed not by evil corporations but by our own government. The election of a new mayor provides the opportunity to put the political rhetoric about affordability into action.
Resolve: No tax levy increases in 2018. We already have a 2018 property-tax spike imposed by the Legislature’s school funding plan. Enough! Expiring levies may be renewed, but not increased.
Resolve: No growth in city spending in 2018. New programs or staffing should be offset by downsizing elsewhere. We practice this discipline in our families; elected officials ought to be as prudent as we are.
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Resolve: Waive city tax on utilities. Seattle has an affordability crisis, so why jack up taxes (and overhead charges) on the city’s most essential services? Water and sewer now cost us more no matter how diligently we conserve and recycle.
Let’s make 2018 the year “affordability” becomes more than a political buzzword and instead is a measure of real leadership.
Margaret Pageler, Seattle