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Seattle Mayor: Hike Property Tax Levy to Fight Homelessness

Phil Hall
Jan 27, 2016
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is seeking to address the problem of homelessness in his city by asking residents to double the $145 million Seattle Housing Levy.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is seeking to address the problem of homelessness in his city by asking residents to double the $145 million Seattle Housing Levy.

According to a SeattlePI.com report, the mayor’s request marks the third time in five years that the third time in five years that a major property tax levy has gone up by 99 percent or more. In pitching this request, the mayor played on the sympathy of Seattle residents to help their neighbors in need.

“Perhaps as a city, there is nothing more important that we can do this year than pass this levy,” he said, adding that the municipal budget cannot cope with the financial burden of helping the homeless. “With expanded services, long-term system reforms and an aggressive approach to housing affordability, Seattle is stretched to our limits.”

Mayor Murray also noted that 19,000 Seattle households applied last year to be on the wait list for a federal housing voucher, adding that nonwhites were in acute need of aid.

“As a city dedicated to racial equality and social justice, we cannot ignore the fact that African Americans and Native Americans are five times more likely to experience homelessness,” he continued. “Four out of five children who experience homelessness are children of color.”

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