• Seattle property owners one step closer to being taxed again

    By: David Solano


    SEATTLE - The Seattle City Council moved forward with a plan to create a Waterfront Local Improvement District (LID) once the viaduct is torn down.

    This is a highly contentious issue among those who live along that stretch of downtown.

    Many of the condo owners, who live by the waterfront, were at the meeting on Wednesday to express their concerns.

    KIRO 7 found one person who is in favor of the LID.

    The city of Seattle is proposing a Waterfront Local Improvement District that would affect residential and commercial property. 

    Some said they're willing to pay the thousands of dollars in taxes.

    "I would be honored to do that, to support the LID, because I believe that it greatly benefits our downtown neighborhood," Kim Rorschach, director & CEO of the Seattle Art Museum, said.

    But not everyone agrees. 

    Karen Gielen, who has owned a condo on Western Avenue for years, isn't opposing the park. Gielen said she doesn't like the mechanism designed to pay for the local improvement district. 

    "We're being asked to pay a special share -- or 100-percent -- of this new park improvement for the downtown area,” said Gielen. 

    Gielen is not alone. 

    "If the LID assessment is approved, we will be forced to sell our property,” said Kel Wilson, who owns a condo on the waterfront. “I consider this personal."

    Those like Jane Richlovsky also take this very personally. She's an artist whose had an art studio in Pioneer Square for 16 years. 

    "If you want Pioneer Square full of chain stores and no arts, the LID would be an excellent way to accomplish that,” said Richlovsky. “Thank you." 

    The full City Council will take the issue to a vote on Monday. If this goes through, the city would be obligated to deliver $200 million of improvements.


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