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City of Seattle

Proposition No. 1

The City of Seattle’s Proposition 1 concerns replacement funding for citywide transportation maintenance and improvements.

If approved, this proposition would replace an expiring levy and would fund bridge seismic upgrades, transit corridor and light rail access projects, pedestrian and bicycle safety projects, synchronized traffic signals, street maintenance and repair, freight projects, and neighborhood street projects.

It authorizes regular property tax collections, above RCW 84.55 limits, of $95,000,000 in 2016 and $930,000,000 over nine years. The 2016 total regular tax limit would remain $3.60/$1,000 of assessed value, including approximately $0.62/$1,000 of assessed value in additional taxes.

Should this levy be approved?



Seattle Proposition 1 replaces an expiring transportation levy and funds safety, congestion relief, and maintenance and repair projects, such as bridge seismic upgrades, transit corridor and light rail access projects, pedestrian and bicycle safety projects, synchronized traffic signals, freight projects, and neighborhood street projects.  Proposition 1 raises a maximum of $930 million over 9 years, spendable on three program categories: Safe Routes ($207 million); Congestion Relief ($303 million); and Maintenance and Repair ($420 million).  Each category’s expenditure amount may be changed by no more than 10% by ordinance, after a Levy Oversight Committee has had an opportunity to comment. These amounts may change by more than 10% if approved by a 3/4 vote of the City Council. 

These categories and other details about the levy are described further in Ordinance 124796, included in this pamphlet.  In addition to expenditures using Proposition 1 revenues, the City of Seattle will appropriate at least $40 million (adjusted by inflation) annually using General Subfund revenues for transportation purposes. 

Revised Code of Washington chapter 84.55 limits annual property tax revenue increases to 1% over the highest amount that the City could have received in one of the three most recent years. This limit can be exceeded if approved by a simple majority of the voters.  Proposition 1 authorizes the City to exceed these limits to collect no more than the $930 million referenced above. 

In 2016, the first year of collection, no more than $95 million will be raised.  The additional tax rate associated with the Proposition 1 increase for each property owner would be approximately $0.62 per $1,000 of assessed value.  The City’s total regular property tax rate would not exceed the state law rate limit of $3.60 per $1,000 of assessed value.  Taxes levied in 2023 for collection in 2024, and later tax levies, would be calculated as if Proposition 1 had not been passed.

For questions about this measure, contact: Polly Grow, Seattle Ethics and Elections,

Creating a Transportation System That Works for All

As Seattle grows, our transportation system must keep pace. That means creating an integrated, more effective system to move people and goods by transit, bike, foot, car and truck quickly and safely. The nine-year Let’s Move Seattle levy replaces the expiring Bridging the Gap levy by prioritizing required maintenance while investing in new transit projects and safety improvements in every neighborhood.

Transit and Traffic Improvements to Relieve Congestion

With rapid growth, we need to modernize our transportation network to provide more choices and relieve congestion in every neighborhood. The levy:

  • Creates new light rail connections, including the Graham St. Station, I-5 Pedestrian-Bike bridge connecting Northgate Station, and Accessible Mount Baker project.
  • Builds a network of seven bus rapid transit corridors to connect neighborhoods with fast and reliable transit, including Ballard, Delridge, Capitol Hill, Madison Valley, Eastlake, Roosevelt, Rainier Valley, Central District, Wallingford, Fremont, U-District, and Northgate.
  • Improves the Fauntleroy Triangle in West Seattle.
  • Increases efficiencies for freight movement.
  • Optimizes traffic signals on 45 heavily-traveled corridors.


Taking Care of What We Have

The Let’s Move Seattle levy prioritizes basic maintenance by:

  • Seismically reinforcing 16 vulnerable bridges.
  • Repaving up to 180 miles of arterials.
  • Replacing the structurally deficient Fairview Avenue Bridge.
  • Improving pedestrian safety on the Ballard Bridge.
  • Completing dozens of neighborhood projects annually.

Safer Streets as the Core Value

To improve safety and reduce traffic fatalities from 20 per year to zero, the Let’s Move Seattle levy funds:

  • Safe Routes to Schools projects at every public school.
  • Safety corridor projects in high-crash areas.
  • 150 blocks of new sidewalks and repair of 225 blocks.
  • Pedestrian and traffic safety improvements at 750 intersections.
  • 60 miles of neighborhood greenways on residential streets, and separating people driving and biking on 50 miles of arterials.

Affordable and Accountable

Let’s Move Seattle replaces an expiring levy and will cost the typical homeowner about $12 more per month. The City will apply an equity analysis to all major projects and a citizen oversight committee will ensure accountability.

Broad Support

The levy has unanimous support from Mayor Ed Murray and the City Council and is endorsed by neighborhood leaders and respected organizations including: Transportation Choices Coalition, OneAmerica Votes, Futurewise, Puget Sound Sage, Seattle Building & Construction Trades Council, Feet First, Downtown Seattle Association, Greater Seattle Chamber, Cascade Bicycle Club, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and more!

Vote Yes on Proposition 1.

Statements submitted by: Ed Murray, Pramila Jayapal, and Jessyn Farrell,


Seattle is becoming unaffordable for everybody.  Skyrocketing property taxes harm retired people trying to stay in the homes they’ve lived in their entire lives. Higher property taxes harm young families working to keep their heads above water and, yes, higher property taxes translate into higher rents for those of us that rent.


This almost $1 billion “plan” was thrown together in haste without input from the neighborhoods.  Neighborhoods were treated to ‘presentations’ but no real world knowledge from folks who use our transportation system and know what is needed was included.  The Magnolia Bridge has been studied three times already, is dropping chunks of concrete on the sidewalk below but this Levy will ‘study’ it again – not rebuild it. In Wallingford, the proposed cycle tracks would not extend to Stone Way North where a majority of cyclists would actually ride.  And in north Seattle neighborhoods that have never had sidewalks – none will be built. We need an honest and transparent cost-benefit analysis and neighborhood input to get value and a truly integrated plan that takes us into the next century.  Let’s work with our new District Councilmembers and create transportation solutions that work for all.


We have a healthy transportation budget already – why another levy?  Levies are for special projects, not for basic needs that should be covered in the City budget.  This levy is an open checkbook with many projects listed but few required to actually be done. The previous levy, Bridging the Gap, specifically prohibited levy money on the Seawall and Tunnel projects.  This levy has no such prohibition. It is a list of vague categories.  Let’s plan a list of Seattle transportation priorities with our new District Councilmembers with specific projects we can afford.


If passed, Proposition 1 would be on your tax bill in 2016.  Along with the new metro parks district levy the City portion of your property taxes would go up 36%.   Homeowners and renters face exploding City levy amounts.  The amount we’re paying for ‘special levies’ will surpass our support for schools.  Next year multi-billion dollar bond issues and levies will hit the ballot as well.  Let’s keep Seattle an economically diverse city – Vote No on Proposition 1.

Submitted by: Faye Garneau, Moussa Samb, and Gene Hoglund,

Let's Move Seattle is an affordable - $12 more per month average - replacement levy developed in an open, public process with over 50 neighborhood conversations, and feedback from thousands.

That's why the levy makes safety and congestion relief investments in EVERY neighborhood - prioritizing 16 bridges needing seismic repair, safe routes for kids at EVERY public school, synchronizing signals to reduce gridlock, SEVEN new transit corridors, and repaving worn roads CITYWIDE.

Opponents mislead on key facts: Over 150 blocks of sidewalks are funded by the levy in North and South Seattle neighborhoods; residents will help prioritize where to build. Councilmembers running in districts citywide voted unanimously to refer this levy to voters. Failure to replace the expiring levy would eliminate 25% of Seattle's transportation budget.

Seattle is growing and our transportation network needs to keep pace. Leaders in neighborhoods, labor, business, and environmental organizations urge YES on Prop 1.

Prop 1 is a 155% increase over the last transportation levy.

That kind of tax increase is simply unaffordable to both homeowners and renters.

Even worse, to lure your vote in favor of Prop 1, the levy campaign lists numerous projects that might happen IF approved.

Might happen? Really?

Well, the Prop 1 language of this nearly $1 Billion levy reads as follows: “the Spending Breakdown is illustrative only and shall not be mandatory.”

Does this mean your money is going to bail out Bertha?

Just say NO to this speculative, desperate attempt by Big Downtown interests to jam through Prop 1 before the City has to work with our new neighborhood-elected Council.

Basic transportation maintenance is part of our City budget. Where is it going?  Why isn’t the cost of new development paying for itself rather than being dumped on homeowners and renters?

Vote NO on Proposition 1.

Simple majority (RCW 84.55.050)

1266 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

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