Seattle homeowners to weigh 50% hike in transportation property tax 

Mayor Bruce Harrell proposes an eight-year, $1.35B measure to fix roads and more

Seattle Homeowners to Weigh 50% Hike in Transportation Tax
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell (Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty,

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell has proposed raising a transportation property tax levy on most homeowners by 50 percent to pay for pothole repairs and more.

The mayor announced plans for the eight-year, $1.35 billion transportation levy to be put before voters in November, King5 TV reported. The levy would not affect commercial properties.

The proposed levy — the largest in city history — would replace the current levy, which expires at the end of this year. The current levy, which was $930 million, was passed in 2015. 

A $1.35 billion levy would mark an overall increase of 45 percent from nine years ago. But the hike would be slightly more for property owners with homes valued at more than $500,000.

A typical homeowner in Seattle now pays $24 a month for the levy — with the proposed increase bringing the monthly payment to $36, a $12 increase or 50%.

For residents who own a home appraised for under $500,000, the monthly payment will rise by $7. For those who own a home worth more than $1 million, the payment will increase by $14.

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According to the levy draft, nearly a third of the money, or $423 million, would be spent on street maintenance, including potholes, corridor improvements, curb and pavement markings and more.

Some $218 million, or 16 percent of the money, would be spent on bridge repairs and maintenance. Another $121 million, or 9 percent, would be spent to improve bus stops and light rail stations.

A $107 million slice would pay for roadway safety upgrades, especially near schools. Vision Zero, the city’s plan to end traffic deaths by 2030, would receive a 150 percent boost in funding. 

The city would spend $109 million on sidewalks and crosswalks, $100 million on traffic signals, $94 million on bike safety with up to five new greenways, $57 million on public spaces and $49 million to address climate change

— Dana Bartholomew

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