Seattle’s untimely education tax will raise rent in city

Seattle voters are asked to approve Prop 1, a $ 600 million education tax that would fund preschool education, as well as other education programs. But at a time when Seattle faces housing and crime challenges, local activist Saul Spady argues that now is not the right time for such a tax.

“Seattle is reaching a point where we have to make some tough decisions. We have a budget of $ 6 billion, it’s one of the biggest in the country for a city our size, ”Spady told the Jason Rantz Show. “I don’t think this is the right time to invest so many dollars in something downstream, especially inefficiently.”

Grandson of Dick’s founder, Dick Spady, Saul has become a local activist who has made his voice heard in efforts to defeat the Seattle head tax and continues to speak out on other issues plaguing Seattle. He argues that people often don’t realize that a property tax like Proposition 1 will increase rents in the city. An increase in charges for owners (property taxes) is generally passed on to the tenant who pays it.

“It’s another property tax. Seattle City Council isn’t telling you that property taxes increase your rent, and for millennials and people who are starting to feel the pain of living in Seattle, I think we should be really open about every new tax measure. Spady said. .

“It will be about $ 20,000 per child who enters pre-kindergarten, and we will not be able to meet the needs of 2,000 of the 11,000 children in total that are needed, so there will obviously be more tax increases on the road. “

The levy would replace two expiring levies, including the subsidized preschool program and the family education levy, which funds a range of K-12 programs. In addition to incorporating these two levies, Proposition 1 would add to the mayor’s college pledge program by funding two years of community college.

“If we can get another 1,000 children into free kindergarten, but there is no determination to give it to the children who need it most versus the children who need it less, and maybe we can. to be making 1,000 people homeless, I don’t know if the city has accomplished its main task.

Prop 1’s education tax would cost the average homeowner around $ 242 per year

The seven-year levy would net nearly $ 620 million and cost the average homeowner about $ 242 per year.

For Spady, if the goal is to provide free kindergarten for everyone, the best way would be to give every parent who wants it a $ 10,000 kindergarten voucher without government overhead.

“And we would probably see an eruption of new, really creative pre-K institutions,” Spady said.

He also believes that such a program would work more effectively with the Pre-K program that Jeff Bezos is pushing forward with, which would cost taxpayers nothing.

“To be honest, I don’t know if it’s about helping those who need it most. In many ways, the way Prop 1 is set up is to create a whole new kind of preschool that only has SEIU employees, ”Spady said.

“When the city can’t build the northern police station, when we can’t hire policemen, when we can’t keep our streets clean of needles, is free pre-kindergarten really the main choice? Especially when it comes to a tax that will both increase the burden on landlords and increase the burden on tenants? “

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