The Seattle City Council really, really wants to get a local improvement district in place to establish LIDs as a means of picking other neighborhoods’ pockets for future pet projects without votes.
But in the case of the waterfront, this LID is simply an illegitimate funding source. Less than 1 percent of users would pay for the enjoyment of 100 percent of visitors. That is not local nor fair. Worse, the council has completely and repeatedly ignored legitimate sources of funding, including user fee increases in hotel/resort taxes; rental-car taxes; new AirBnB/short-term rental taxes; and bike-share fees — examples used by other cities.
While there is plenty of money in these to fund the waterfront project, they wouldn’t accomplish the council’s true goal of setting the precedent of using LIDs as a means of raiding other neighborhoods’ piggy banks in the future.
Steve Danishek, Seattle
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