Love this story. The Mayor, Greg Nickels, wants to encourage lower income individuals and families by giving apartment developers tax breaks.
Apartment developers would get a 12-year exemption on any new apartment building in which 20- to 25-percent of the units are set aside for individuals who earn up to $49,000 per year, or families who earn up to $62,300 per year.
Here is what makes me laugh:
"The simple fact is that today's housing market is rising beyond the reach of too many people," said Nickels. "Whether you are a police officer, a grocery worker or a nurse, if you work in Seattle, you should be able to live in Seattle."
It is rising beyond the reach of too many people? Kind of reminds me of the old Yogi Berra line about a restaurant in New York, "Nobody ever goes there, it is too crowded". If the cost of housing is really rising beyond the reach of too many people, it would stop rising. That is how markets work.
Two things... First, why do you think the housing market is rising beyond the reach of too many people? Any chance it could be local governments building regulations, AKA growth management?
Second, just how many of these police, grocery workers and nurses are going to benefit? Well according to the city of Seattle's own website, the only police officer that would qualify would be one that was on the job less than 6 month. According to salary surveys, only 10% of nurses in Seattle make less than $52,000 per year.
So here is what I do not get.... why. There is always a beneficiary to something like this and usually for Seattle and when the Dems are in control of the Washington State government, it is almost always unions. I am trying to "follow the money" and honestly and I am not seeing the angle.
I would just tell Mayor Nickels that if he thinks it is so damn important to have lower income people living in Seattle, then maybe he should consider buying some property himself, building some houses or condos out of his own pocket and renting or selling them for below market prices. Why taxpayers should be picking up the tab for this is beyond me.