The remains of a fire at the Field homeless encampment on February 11, 2017. Photo by Cory Potts.

Murray Announces $55 Million Tax Measure for Homeless Services

The measure, which would need the approval of voters, could be on the August ballot.

For months, Mayor Ed Murray has hinted that a new property tax measure may come before voters to help fund homeless services.

This morning, during his annual state of the city address, Murray said he hopes to have plan on a ballot by August.

Murray said that a coalition of local entrepreneur Nick Hanauer, Downtown Emergency Services Center executive director Daniel Malone, and Councilmembers Debora Juarez and Sally Bashaw, will lead an advisory group that will build a funding package within 14 days.

He said he wants the package to raise an additional $55 million per year, “paid for by an increase in the commercial and residential property tax—around $13 per month for the median household.”

He says he wants the measure qualified to appear on the August ballot.

As Murray himself made clear during the speech, it will not be the first time his administration and the city council have gone to the voters for more money in recent years. Under Murray’s watch, Seattle has passed Move Seattle, a massive transportation levy; doubled the Seattle Housing Levy; and has created a new Parks District. Seattle also led the region to passing the massive Sound Transit 3 plan.

Murray also called on private entities to do more to help solve homelessness in Seattle. Borrowing from the high-tech lexicon, he challenged Seattle businesses to raise $25 million over the next five years “focused on disruptive innovations that will get more homeless individuals and families into housing.”

“Our businesses, who are reaping the rewards of our booming city, must join our new public commitment and help those who are in need,” Murray said, according to prepared remarks.

dperson@seattleweekly.com

More in News & Comment

Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. Photo courtesy King County
King County Could Ban Solitary Confinement for Youth in Detention

Last week, a lawsuit was filed over the practice; this week, King County scrambled to respond.

Welcome to the Bliss Jungle

A party house in Shoreline served as a home base for a community of hippies. It was also, according to multiple alleged victims, the scene of numerous rapes.

As promised, a decision was delivered before the Thanksgiving holiday.
King County Judge Rules Against Seattle Income Tax

The judgment sets up an appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Mayor Signs Retirement Savings Plan Into Law

Along with signing the City budget, the mayor also put into motion the nation’s first city-faciliated, privately-administered retirement savings plan.

Bow Hunting in Bellevue, Church Threats, and Much Ado About Mulch

Plus, a former high school office staffer charged with rape.

City Budget Includes Funding for Georgetown-South Park Trail

Tired of feeling like islands, South Park and Georgetown residents pushed the city for greater connectivity between the communities.

Increased Caseloads Plague King County’s Mental Health Court

The Involuntary Treatment Act Court has seen its cases double in the last decade and the staff can’t keep up.

Seattle Schools Superintendent Larry Nyland speaks about a new agreement between the city and Seattle Public Schools at a Monday press conference. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
Former Army Base Could Address School District’s ‘Capacity Crisis’

The city and Seattle Public Schools entered into an agreement on Monday to plan for new schools and Fort Lawton’s future.

Is the State Transportation Commission Irrelevant?

A report says the citizen panel often is ignored, and its duties overlap with the Transportation Department.

Most Read