Based on a story in the Seattle Times

Opponents of Seattle’s new tunnel kvetched … how can it be paid for?  Property owners were aghast that they should pay… after all they were going to be hurt!  Property owners are going to pay a LID (local improvement district tax). The $160 million tax  means a one-time hit of $5,900 for the median commercial property owner and $1,900 for the typical condo owner.


A property near the viaduct has been sold once every 11 days since the initial stages of the teardown began earlier this decade. Short-term property flippers saw the price of their land go up a median of about $11 million each. But those that have redeveloped their land have seen even bigger equity gains.  SEATTLE TIMES

Uber wealthy Trumpie, Martin Selig, known for building the Columbia Center and second only to the mythic Vulcan of Paul Allen’s estate, bought a drab, century-old office building connected to the viaduct — so he could tear it down.  The price was $44 million.  Next door an East Coast investor spent $50 million then flipped the property for a $186 million payday.  Gonzaga University, now home to the UW’s eastern Washington medical school, has flipped its dirty old downtown parking lot and is erecting a 17-story apartment complex.

The tunnel replacement cost $3 billion dollars, according to the Seattle Times.  The Seattle Times also found a total of $7 billion in property sales so far.   How wonderful to see a pious non profit , a dissident political partisan and the dead patron saint of SLU make a buck off of the project after they had to cry salt tears because of a modest LID.

There is a message here for the tax phobic folks of Washington.  Bill Gates and others have shocked our politicians by proposing a mega project .. creating a high tech corridor connecting Vancouver BC to Portland Oregon.  The money would build high speed rail, replace bridges, wire and wireless the corridor for Internet. One estimate I read was that this would cost somebody $20 billion dollars.  Is that a lot?  Imagine Amazon spreading not just up into Seattle’s skies but all along the corridor!  Imagine people able to live in Everett and work in Seattle, or getting from Portland to BC for a business meeting this afternoon.

Does this extension of the tunnel need a name, I think the name might be the Emerald Corridor but I prefer the Salish Sea Project.



4 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Roger Rabbit #

    Sure, why not? How to pay for it? The same way we pay for everything else around here: Tax the working class. Oh, let them vote on it. Of course! And then after 90% vote “no,” build it and tax them anyway. It worked for our multiple billion-dollar sports palaces, and it’ll work for this, too.

  2. theaveeditor #

    No! I propose a LID. We can use bonds that get paid back by a tax on increased property values that result from the corridor. It is hard to imagine a project like this not creating values in the 100s of billions.

  3. Roger Rabbit #

    B-b-but that would make the people who benefit from it pay for it, which is against Seattle’s principles …

  4. Roger Rabbit #

    I dunno about 100s of billions; billions, maybe …

Your Comment