Seattle Property Tax Measure, Seawall Replacement (May 2010)
|Not on Ballot|
| This measure did not or |
will not appear on a ballot
This measure was going to seek to increase property taxes by about $48 a year on homes of $400,000, in order to raise $241 million so that the seawall in the bay can be replaced. The Mayor of the city made the announcement that he would try to push this tax measure through so that the seawall can be replaced sooner than planned currently, four year plan and not six. In order for this to pass it would need a 60 percent majority of 'Yes' votes.
The city council sent a letter to the mayor expression their concerns over this potential vote, a project which they feel is being rushed and should not need a vote because it must be done. Still unsure if the vote will happen, council members thought it prudent to express their concerns over the matter with the mayor.
Two recent polls on the issue came back with more than 17 percent difference in their result, with the same question of if residents supported the new measure to re-build the seawall. Leaving others to question which poll accurately describes Seattle resident's feelings on the issue. The two polls were done by Bill Broadhead, paid by the Mayor, and the other was an independent group SurveyUSA. The first poll stated that the discrepancy was caused by the fact that SurveyUSA did their poll at random, where as the Broadhead poll was done just on frequent Seattle voters. Broadhead stated that their poll was more accurate because it targeted those most likely to vote in the next election. But SurveryUSA was noted to be more accurate because its better to compare a broad range of citizens, May elections are off season so not all normal electing voters go to the polls.
The city council was adamantly against having this vote in May and were still asking the Mayor for further funding plans and long term project goals that include other projects that need replacing, not just the sea wall. Though the Mayor is still pushing for this May vote, the council does not feel that the money for it would be worth it. A decision has to be made by April 2 if it will or will not be on the May ballot. Council members are looking at alternative ways to fund the seawall replacement as well, one option was to increase parking taxes and issue a bond to help with building the new wall. But the city is already behind on promises of other street improvements and funding is lacking in those areas as well. There is still no clear means of funding the replacement wall.
- Seattle council balks at McGinn's call for sea-wall vote
- Fix seawall, cut staff?
- The city council shows some backbone
- West Seattle Blog, "Mayor announces ballot measure to pay for seawall replacement," January 14, 2010
- The Seattle Times, "Council to send letter to McGinn questioning sea-wall plan," January 19, 2010
- Publicola, "Poll vs. Poll: Do Voters Love McGinns Seawall Measure?," January 28, 2010
- The Seattle Times, "Seattle council balks at McGinn's call for sea-wall vote," March 2, 2010
- The Seattle Times, "Seattle City Council in no hurry to pinpoint sea-wall funding," March 22, 2010