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Proposed Seattle Transportation Levy could now cost homeowners $500 a year

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(The Center Square) – The proposed Seattle Transportation Levy is increasing in size as city councilmembers add $100 million through amendments.

The levy proposal is currently set at $1.45 billion over eight years, as originally proposed by Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell. The funding goes towards transportation projects prioritized by Seattleites.

Currently, the levy proposal is being discussed in committee and requires approval by the Seattle City Council before it can be placed on ballots in November.

Seattle City Councilmember Rob Saka, who serves as chair of the Select Committee on the 2024 Transportation Levy, is proposing an amendment to the Seattle Transportation Levy that would bring the total to $1.55 billion over an eight-year term. Harrell has already tacked on an additional $100 million to the overall levy before it was sent to the City Council.

This increase would raise the anticipated annual property tax bill for the Seattle median assessed value home to $499 a year, which is $30 more than Harrell’s proposal which would result in a median property tax bill of $469.

The expiring Move Seattle Levy median property tax bill in 2024 is $300.

Despite the large increase in taxes this levy could cause, Seattleites signaled support during a committee meeting on Tuesday.

Saka’s amendment would establish minimum appropriations of no less than $126 million for new sidewalks throughout Seattle, $221 million for bridges and structures, $350 million for arterial roadway maintenance, and $27 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

“My amendments will increase oversight and enhance transparency to ensure that we’re spending every tax dollar effectively and efficiently,” Saka said in a statement.

The amendment would also add $20 million for a new freight program intended to keep the city’s supply chain and economy moving.

Andy Gregory, senior program manager at the Port of Seattle, spoke on behalf of the port during the public comment period of the Tuesday meeting. Gregory said increased funding for freight would help the port in delivering goods.

“The industry depends on the freight network for the efficient delivery of goods – full funding of the freight element of this package is essential to address the overflowing need for simple pavement repairs and fixes,” Gregory said.

The select committee on the levy will continue to hold discussion on the proposal. If the levy is approved by the select committee by July 2, the Seattle City Council could take a final vote on July 9 to put the measure before voters this November.