Seattle Channel’s City Inside/Out took on the Move Seattle levy recently, and it was a pretty good 30-minute report and debate on the issue.
There are legitimate concerns about housing affordability and a bigger transportation levy, but Suzie Burke and Bob Pishue didn’t make them. Their focus on cars really undercuts their positions. Driving will never be affordable, and focusing on driving will never solve Seattle’s traffic problems. In fact, decades of focusing mostly on cars is what got us into this mess.
The city’s go-to line about Move Seattle is that it will increase people’s access to lower cost transportation options. Transportation costs make up 17 percent of Seattle residents’ income, and most of that is related to car ownership. That’s why an increase in property taxes to fund expanded access and reliability for other ways of getting around helps with affordability, they say.
While property taxes are not a perfect taxing option, they do place more of the burden on people with expensive homes than on people with lower-value homes. But as the city faces skyrocketing rents, any city-fueled increase can feel like a step in the wrong direction.
As the city works on the Move Seattle levy, people are also working on ways to address affordable housing. The Community Housing Caucus recently released some ideas for short term and long-term action, and I would love to see the two issues move together.
Because Seattle does not have to choose between efficient, safe streets and affordable rent. We need both.
Watch and discuss below. You can also vote in the City Inside/Out poll here.