Guest Rant Nov 17, 2023 at 9:30 am

Tell Your Council Member to Vote Against the Transportation Impact Fee

The city’s data shows applications for new apartment construction permits have plummeted, down from 11,200 between January and September of 2020 to just 2,600 between that same timeframe this year. PAIGE VICKERS



It makes me sad that the impacts of a housing prioritized fee model will defund desperately needed public transportation and infrastructure for the poorest in Seattle. We all know that walkable/accessible neighborhoods are among the most affluent, and it’s folks up the income ladder who have the option to WFH and skip out on the bus. How are marginalized voices present in these urbanist policy positions???

Also, can we be clear that it’s not that less fees = cheaper housing so directly. It’s only when builders create enough units in that market sector will rents go down, assuming no other funny stuff is going on.


Property taxes of existing buildings will stay at current rates. Only brand new buildings will have the impact fees assessed. It's these brand new apartments and condos that may be priced higher. But it all depends on supply and demand and with the flood of new buildings that will open this year I predict rents will actually stay level or decrease.


Tearing down small individual cheap houses is great in your opinion. As long as global warming giant apartment buildings are created - with no trees or vegetation allowed.

And you oppose a tax on corporate developers. Got it.

But taxes on individuals. Every time - every single time - they come up, you are fine with them.

WTF is wrong with you?


No impact fees for transportation but no enforcement for transit fares right?


I've seen classier whoring in front of Lowe's than the job Future"Wise" is doing here on behalf of for-profit (and LOTS of it!) developers.

Fluff away, jagoffs. Fluff away.


Interesting. The Housing Levy also makes housing more expensive via higher property taxes. But you're for that, right?


The tremendous increase in housing values have made millionaires of many many Seattle homeowners. Yet they want renters, who have far far less in assets, to pay for transportation improvements? Yeah, that seems fair and equitable. How about we all pay for needed infrastructure?


@7: No, they're not millionaires. Only if they sell, minus capital gains if not used to buy another house, will they realize that sale as income. But most move into another home.


I've seen several articles that in New York City, they spend more money on "transit fare enforcement" than they actually collect in transit fares. That's right, the city would actually make more money if they laid off all the "transit fare enforcement" people, and just made it free to ride all transit.

I suspect the same is true in Seattle, and other large cities.


@3 Yes this. TS sucks.


tis a good thing
those what hate
tS're here to tell
us how much tS
Absolutely Sux


"Only brand new buildings will have the impact fees assessed."

Yes, but that pushes up the cost of all housing. For example, rents on existing property goes up, because there is less competition. Same goes for those looking to buy. If you are looking to buy a condo, then old condos are more expensive, because there are few new condos. This is the way the free market works. Remember when new cars suddenly got a lot more expensive because of the supply chain shortage. Old cars got really expensive as well.

Thus the people who rent, or the people looking to buy will pay this tax (indirectly). It is the people who already own property that won't. If you own your own home (like me) you won't pay a dime. If you are a landlord, you won't either, and you get to charge your tenants more. Double win for the landlords. This is a tax on those who lack property wealth.

There are much better taxes -- even the fairly regressive sales tax is better. Definitely a property tax is more equitable.


@8 "A millionaire is an individual whose net worth or wealth is equal to or exceeds one million units of currency." ( The term does not reflect income, but wealth. So yeah, they are millionaires.

You are basically arguing "so what", but it matters. Accumulating wealth in this manner gives you greater flexibility. If you do decide to sell and move to another part of the country, you end up with a lot more money. If you decide to sell and rent an apartment or buy a condo, the same is true. It is quite common for people to "cash out" and move, in this manner.

Furthermore, there are ways to access the wealth without moving. You can rent out a room, and take advantage of the sky-high housing prices. There is AirBnb, as well. If you are old, you can also get a reverse mortgage (be careful though, that is one of those things that are best discussed with an impartial financial expert).


@13: Rather presumptuous to advise people who have to live on their salary or social security to liquidate hard assets. Your suggestions are things homeowners are already well aware of but not always practical or desirable.



I disagree with you most of the time, but you are absolutely right and our know-it-all smug blowhard Ross is as wrong as he is metaphysically certain he is correct.


....not to mention the fact that cashing out almost certainly means having to move out of the area, but what does a longtime connection to family and friends mean to a smug know-it-all New Urbanist like dear Ross?

PS - know-it-all jagoff, adding a modest impact fee to the cost of a new luxury apartment adds NOTHING to my cost of living. Not one thin dime......


Won't somebody think of the poor developers? They would desperately like to keep the enormous profits from their projects for themselves while making the negative impacts of those projects everybody else's problem -- and you won't let them! Why do you hate housing?


@16 Every Seattle homeowner has the option of 2 attached accessory dwelling units (ADUs aka granny flats) in their home and (if their lot is not very small) zero or one ADU plus one detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU aka backyard cottages). Any combination of downsizing on their own property or monetizing their property without leaving is on the table (including a condo agreement so they can effectively sell off some land for a DADU or ADU if they don't want to deal with being a landlord - even an agreement to lease the land for a person to build on).



Way to prove my point about the know-it-all douchiness of New Urbanists.

Rezone yourself, and kindly piss off and leave the rest of us in peace.


"It's bad that cashing out inevitably means having to move away."

"Good news: it doesn't."

"You're bad."




What fucking planet do you live on? If they sell at current prices, they are highly unlikely to be able to afford to live here at current prices either, particularly if they're older and/or are on fixed incomes.



@21: Per post #18 they could (for example) sell part of their lot and remain in place, or sell the main house and downsize (with money left in their pocket) into a backyard cottage.



There you go assuming your financial advice makes sense for everyone (and/or that they have the money to front to finance and build and ADU, or that they want to downsize, and/or whatever that they should follow whatever other bullshit advice you feel like you are qualified to give them).



....rezone yourself, motherfucker.

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
Sign In

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