Steven Weissman



I never understand why people think they have a guaranteed right to live in one of the most expensive cities in the country and if they can't afford it the community should subsidize their choices. I'm sure the author realizes that if we were to pass a $1B property tax increase it would drive more homelessness as people living on fixed incomes would no longer be able to afford their mortgages but I guess they are considered "rich" so screw them right?


something tells me that anonymous doesn't actually work in non-profit housing development, seattle govt, or construction.


@1: Such an easy skeet shoot isn't it? Thanks. So tiresome that ramifications are never thought through.

In addition, drug addition remains an important factor in the equation for decreasing homelessness.


This never-presented study by McKinsey was intended for their clients in Seattle’s architectural, engineering, and construction firms — exactly the private, for-profit companies which would have received most of the dollars spent on these proposed large public projects. Accordingly, the study simply assumes Seattle’s homelessness can be solved entirely by building more housing. The very real presence of mental disorders amongst Seattle’s homeless population, including those which drive substance abuse, was simply ignored.

Lefty-liberals in Seattle taking self-serving corporate propaganda at face value makes for one of the few small bright spots of amusement in Seattle’s otherwise tragic homelessness crisis.


The author of this I, Anonymous, is a paid PR flack. Her salary is paid for by developers, and by related organizations such as the concrete companies, large out-of-state contractors, and the same PR companies responsible for recycled plastic, and tobacco. I'm surprised that the Stranger such an obvious effort to astroturf the developer efforts to get the public to transfer money to their pockets.


Better yet set up a Venmo account! A mere $1300 per Seattle resident per year. NBD


@6 and only a fraction of them actually pay property taxes. good luck getting homeowners to sign on to an extra 5 grand in taxes every year LOL.
also, renters: "why did my rent go up $500/mo?"


Brilliant. Let's solve homelessness by passing a tax that makes housing less affordable and .... what, class? That's RIGHT! Creates more homelessness! Let's get granny under a blue tarp, too! Here's an older, more difficult, less popular and infinitely more effective idea: Get rid of property taxes on the first $400,000 of assessment. Eliminate sales taxes, except for 1% for cities and counties that cannot be raised. Eliminate the B&O tax. Take an axe to the crazy quilt of sin taxes and user fees. And then amend the state constitution and pass a goddamn income tax. Sounds familiar? It should. That's Ron Sims' plan from the 2004 governors' race. Christine 'Neoliberal' Gregoire wrapped it around his neck by saying, "Let's be honest, Ron, you're talking about a tax increase." How very Democratic of her, right? Of course, the Republicans hate it. Who gives a shit what they think? Isn't it time Washington's Democrats started acting like Democrats? You're a majority, fucking act like it.


Did they lose the original picture and take a picture of the printed issue?


Just because I’m bored and had nothing better to do I did some math in this. There are 345k households in Seattle based on the 2022 census. let’s round that up to 400k to include business owners as well. To get to $1B everyone would need to contribute $2.5M. If we amortized that over 30 years (assuming we could issue bonds) at 1% the annual contribution for each household would be $64k.

Why don’t we just skip ahead to the part where the government confiscates everyone’s property and redistributes it according to their “need”, isn’t that where this is going? After all a lot of seniors are living alone is 3-4 bedroom homes. Very wasteful.


"That plus permitting reform to make the buildings go up faster is the answer! "

This innocuous sentence arrives unannounced at the city gates like a beautiful, gift-wrapped wooden horse.


@11 your math is wrong


@11 $1,000,000,000.00 / 400,000 = $2,500.00

Um wot?


@13/14 ok, I'll admit my math was wrong. That was a careless mistake. It doesn't change my opinion that this is still a dumb idea that will lead to unintended consequences as I stated in my first post.


@1 @3 and all the other misanthropes...

"I never understand why people think they have a guaranteed right to live in one of the most expensive cities in the country and if they can't afford it the community should subsidize their choices."

It's like them poors are all moving to Seattle and asking for handouts! The nerve!

Or, perhaps people with roots here, family here, histories here, are suddenly left out in the cold because working class people can no longer afford to live where they once did.

And instead of being willfully ignorant (stupid?), why not acknowledge that the wealthy would pay more than middle class folks (as they should) and shoulder most of the burden?

Washington is the most regressive state in the union when it comes to things such as taxation, and when solutions are offered the upper class convinces the middle class that it's the lower class that is the problem. And the middle class buys right into it.

Mmmmm... late stage capitalism.


@16 eye roll. Taxes has nothing to do with it. The Dems could institute an income tax next year (and
Probably will once the SC gives them their ruling) and it won’t change a thing in Seattle. You’re being ignorant (stupid) now.


@18: Spouting 19th Century ideas about how to address drug use doesn’t help either. Substance Use Disorder has biochemical roots, and yelling at persons who have it won’t help them. At all. (Also, Reagan’s pet anti-communist army smuggling drugs for cash didn’t exactly help Nancy’s “Just Say No” idiocy succeed, but then again, nothing could…)

After climate change drove me from Seattle, I landed in another liberal place. At the airport was a big display on Substance Use Disorder, and how the local community helped victims of it recover sobriety. When a local encampment produced firetrap, below-code ‘homes’ and copious street crime, the city simply cleared it. Both approaches were needed. (And where was this cruel place, which hated the homeless so much it swept an offensive encampment? Burlington, Vermont, the home base of Bernie Hisself.)

Pretending homelessness is a housing-affordability issue has failed miserably in Seattle for a decade. Pretending punishment of drug users can end drug use has failed everywhere, forever. Good luck with continuing failed policies, and I hope you’re not expecting success.


@19 Absolutely genius:

"Here's a hint: 'Rights' don't involve the picking of someone else's pocket. You have a right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. You don't have a 'right' to housing, food, etc."

Explain to me how you have life without food, or a place to stay when it's freezing cold.


And are we going to stipulate, as part of this scheme, that we will not house those who arrive in Seattle already homeless? If not, how would you plan to pay for the unlimited flow of new homeless into the one city that becomes famous for housing everyone? I see this plan as setting up an endless flow of needs that can't be met.


@11. Sigh. You’re a fucking idiot.

Not only can you not do basic math you don’t even understand how proportional taxation works.

Jesus. Just delete your account already.


Increasing property taxes to add another billion to fund homeless services will not solve the issue, rather it will further push up rental prices for renters and burden everyone to the point we become another S.F... Rather than waist it money, the fix is: allow for microhousing, ease up on zoning restrictions, and remove buildings height caps. The city needs to allow for dormitory style housing options to house the less affluent. More taxation is not the solution considering we spend about $100,000 a person, per year on each homeless individual in the city, giving temporary solutions like hotel vouchers don’t actually solve the issue. Who benefits from the extra funding? Not the homeless or the needy…


Waste not waist.


@25: There's no option to delete an account. But you can get banned by being a vile nasty troll who crosses the line, which is how you first got banned - professor dearest.


@25 what? And deprive you of the joy of calling me names and being a curmudgeon? My gift to you this holiday season.


The root cause of homelessness is greed. Nobody is more greedy than landlords. For every $100 increase in rent 9% of renters become homeless. The federal government needs to step in and fix privatized greed. There should be a constitutional right to a living wage and housing. The constitution already indicates the general welfare of the population should be a priority. The purpose of government is to serve ALL the people not just a select group of extra greedy assholes.


“For every $100 increase in rent 9% of renters become homeless.”

Source citation, please.

During 2010-2015, Seattle saw rising minimum wage, falling unemployment, rising salaries, and very low inflation — even in housing costs. At the end of that time, Mayor Murray declared a Homelessness Crisis. Whatever the roots of Seattle’s Homeless Crisis, they were not economic.


Not a bad idea, really. As long as a significant part of that $1B goes toward the construction of residential mental treatment facilities.

One doesn't really have to be homeless in this city. There's always the opportunity to get a couple of roommates together to split an expensive rent. It's quite common in third world countries to see occupation rates of 4 or 5 people per room in some ghettos. But that requires an ability to live in close proximity to others (very close, at times). And that's something that mentally disturbed people have problems with.


@16: "It's like them poors are all moving to Seattle and asking for handouts! The nerve!"

That's right. Since the end of the 19th century. The Yukon gold rush generated a lot of sudden wealth in this town. Both from businesses provisioning expeditions going up as well as those who struck it rich coming back. And a side effect of that was to attract a group of people who figured that they could make a living by panhandling. Skid road (Yesler Way) was borne here as the address of many of these people. Living alongside an actual timber skid (not highly desirable) was where many of these people gravitated towards.

It's been that way ever since.


@33 - that's ludicrous. You need to go re-read whatever source you heard that from and consider whether it's even possible.


@31: I wouldn’t characterize anyone commenting here as “screaming,” but if it comes across to you that way, consider all the money taxpayers in Seattle have spent — over half a billion dollars, just from Seattle, just since the Homelessness Crisis was declared — only to watch homeless persons suffer and die on Seattle’s streets anyway. If that’s not worth “screaming” about, then what is?

The United States is the only industrialized Western democracy without a national health service. When addiction strikes, the victims can lose their jobs and health insurance, lose their homes, everything. Seattle foolishly provided a liberal city with a mild climate and, in the 2010-2020 decade, a booming economy, to create a new Skid Road, as @36 recounted. So homeless persons moved to Seattle, where well-meaning voters provided not help, but a homeless-industrial complex which feeds off the problem without any reason to solve it. Even if Seattle was willing to pay the full cos of housing and treating the population of addicts who have moved into town, (@23 correctly implies why Seattle should not do so) Seattle’s homeless-industrial complex would be neither competent nor motivated to help them.

Again, if this situation does not justify at least a little screaming, then what does?


@33 I think you’ve been brainwashed by an alternative cult. The homelessness problem is a result a policies impacted by the corrupt government. Blasting all landlords sounds really naive and ignorant. The fix for our homeless emergency is easing the stifling regulations that suppress free market, allowing for more density to be built at an affordable cost.


Well I'm glad we settled that!


The solution to homelessness is simple: the homeless pull rickshaws. Dangle a pipe or foil instead of a carrot. Look out Uber and DoorDash. Fast service but strange conversation. Seattle is an International City at last.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.