We learn what Seattle’s epic apartment-building boom will mean for rents in 2017 and preview the high-stakes education-funding battle coming with the state Legislative session that begins this month.

Share story

Seattle’s already-historic apartment boom is about to really explode, with nearly 10,000 market-rate units slated to open in 2017.

What will that mean for city dwellers? We hear from Seattle Times real-estate reporter Mike Rosenberg at 3:30.

At 5:27, we ask what’s behind the boom. “The single biggest thing is the Amazon effect,” says Rosenberg.

Most Read Stories

Cyber Sale! Save 90% on digital access.

The company has 10,000 job openings and for employees new to Seattle, renting makes sense. Most can’t afford the city’s eye-popping sales prices.

At 8:07: Rosenberg breaks down the possible effect on rents. In theory, the construction should slow increases: Tenants may see bumps of five percent rather than 10 percent or more. “So it’s still bad, but at least better,” he says.

Then we quiz state Senate majority leader Mark Schoesler on the Legislature’s big task this session: hammering out a plan to fully fund public schools in compliance with the McCleary court ruling.

At 11:30, the Ritzville Republican says his first reaction to Gov. Jay Inslee’s recent budget proposal was laughter. The governor hopes to impose new taxes so the state can fix its schools problem without slashing other services.

“It’s really hard to take serious,” Schoesler says.

At 14:00, we ask the GOP leader whether he and his caucus would entertain a capital gains tax on the wealthy (as Inslee has proposed).

Schoesler resists, calling the tax a volatile revenue source and arguing it could hit some small business owners when they cash out.

Finally, at 21:46, Daniel Zavala, policy director for the League of Education Voters, weighs in on McCleary, including the issue of teacher pay.

Zavala calls Inslee’s budget “a great conversation starter” but says his organization is still waiting to see what Republicans and Democrats suggest.

The League of Education voters hasn’t endorsed any of the governor’s proposed tax increases and is focused on outcomes – not just more money.

Can the bitterly divided Legislature actually get the job done? At 34:00, Zavala says he’s “optimistic.”

Subscribe to The Overcast on iTunes, TuneIn or via RSS. If you listen on iTunes, leave us a review there.

Find and listen to past episodes of The Overcast here.

Send us your feedback and your nominations for next week’s winner and loser in local politics. Leave a comment on this post, tweet at us (@Jim_Brunner and @DBeekman), email us (seattletimesovercast@gmail.com) or drop us a voicemail at 206-464-8778.