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City of Seattle

Proposition No. 1
Property Tax Levy Renewal for Affordable Housing

The Mayor and Seattle City Council passed Ordinance 126837, concerning renewal of the Seattle Housing Levy.


If approved, this proposition would replace the expiring Seattle Housing Levy and fund housing and housing services for low-income households, including seniors, families, people with disabilities, and people experiencing homelessness.


It authorizes a seven-year property tax increase for collection beginning in 2024 at approximately $0.45/$1,000 in assessed value, up to a maximum $3.60/$1,000. The 2024 regular levy amount would be used to compute limitations for 2025-2030 levies. Seniors, veterans with disabilities, and others qualified under RCW 84.36.381 are exempt.


Should this proposition be approved?




Proposition 1 would authorize a seven-year property tax increase, replacing an expiring levy, to finance low-income housing and provide for housing needs of low-income persons. Approximately 51 percent of levy funding is anticipated to serve households earning 30 percent or less of Seattle area median income.


This proposition would increase taxes levied in 2023 through 2029 and collected in 2024 through 2030. It would authorize Seattle to raise up to $970,260,175 in additional property taxes over the period to pay for levy programs, with a maximum annual amount raised of $138,608,596. 


Levy-funded programs would: create and preserve affordable homes throughout Seattle; stabilize workers, building operations, and services, that support affordable housing residents; provide emergency assistance to prevent low-income households from experiencing homelessness; and support affordable housing developments led by community-based organizations. Ordinance 126837, later in this pamphlet, explains these programs.


The City Council could change the programs, consistent with the proposition’s basic purposes. An oversight committee would monitor and report on program progress.

State law generally limits property tax increases to one percent above the highest amount that the City could have received in the prior year.  This proposition allows the City to exceed this limit. In 2024, the additional taxes for any property owner would be approximately 45 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The City’s regular property-tax rate would not exceed the state law limit of $3.60 per $1,000 of assessed value. Seniors, veterans with disabilities, and others qualified under RCW 84.36.381 are exempt.


Since 1986 the Housing Levy has been Seattle's most effective tool to improve housing access, stability, and equity. Renewing the levy will help meet today’s urgent transitional and affordable housing needs and plan for the future.  With your vote, this measure will:


Produce and preserve 3,500 new affordable homes and reinvest in existing affordable housing; Stabilize 4,500 individuals and families at risk of eviction and homelessness through rent assistance and case management; Help 1,150 formerly homeless individuals and people with acute needs enter and remain in stable, supportive homes; Create 360 affordable homeownership opportunities targeted to marginalized communities.


Levy renewal also provides wage support, career training, and professional development for workers in supportive and emergency housing– expanding services to help people out of homelessness, substance use, and behavioral health crises.


Past levies have exceeded targets through sound fiscal management and independent review. Let’s build on this success. Endorsed by Mayor Harrell and City Council, Housing Development Consortium, United Way of KC, Plymouth Housing, Bellwether Housing, Habitat For Humanity, Mary’s Place, Chief Seattle Club, YWCA, Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, Youth Care, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Seattle Association, MLK Labor, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, and more!

Submitted by: 
Patience Malaba, Matt Griffin, Susan Boyd,

Has the money we’ve spent solved the housing problem? As of 2022, the City collected $171.1 million in Mandatory Housing Affordability fees, $25 million from taxes on Uber and Lyft rides, and $248.1 million from the “Jump Start” tax. There is at least $75 million in King County’s 2023-2024 housing budget, and another $693.7 million from the state. That’s over $1 billion.


Now, the City wants $970 million “to serve more than 9,000 low-income individuals and families,” according to the Mayor. Grab a calculator. Divide $970 million by 9,000; it’s $107,777.78 per person, or $1,283.07 per month, for seven years.


A two-bedroom in Seattle rents for $2,795. Apartments built with the levy could rent for $1,850. If the City gave $970 million to 9,000 households over the 7 years to help with rent, the average two-bedroom apartment would be $1,512, $338 less than a levy unit and have $0 maintenance costs.


You should vote “No,” not because the levy is a tax (it’s a small amount per household) but because of the reckless way it will be spent. Where did all that other money go? We should give households cash for housing expenses, not a spot on a waiting list.


Submitted by: Roger Valdez,

Over the life of every affordable home created by the Seattle housing levy, dozens of families are helped into stable, quality housing. Partnering with other funds, housing built by this proposal will serve tens of thousands of Seattle neighbors. This package, like past successful levies, funds more than brick and mortar– including emergency rent stabilization, assistance for low income seniors to age in place, emergency housing, and other programs that strengthen communities. Please vote yes!


Submitted by: Patience Malaba, Matt Griffin, Susan Boyd,

To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, “Some people see a housing crisis, and say, “We need more money;” I say, “We need more housing!” The Gardner House project touted by the levy oversite committee cost $46 million for 95 units, $484,210 per unit. Average sales price for a 1,200 square foot house in Seattle is about $600,000. Is this “sound fiscal management?” The levy fuels exorbitant spending; better, efficient use of money would mean more housing.


Submitted by: Roger Valdez,

Simple Majority (RCW 84.55.050)

For questions about this measure, contact: Scheereen Dedman, City Clerk, (206) 684-8344,

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