The biggest unanticipated shortfall came from a decline in real-estate taxes, which pay for long-term capital projects, but other revenues, including parking taxes and money from the sweetened beverage tax, also declined.
What if there was a tax that didn’t rely on windfall sales but the slow and steady increase in value across the city? And why are we relying on parking taxes when we need to discourage auto use? Taxing those parking lots into productive use through land value taxes or ground rents and adopting split-rate taxation that discourages holding idle/underused land and encourages growth would solve most, if not all, these problems. Not one of Seattle’s nine city council members or their staffs understand how much opportunity they are passing up.