As taxes and spending for Seattle public schools soar, union and education officials say they don’t have enough money

Jul 15, 2019

In an insightful column, Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat reviews public data and pulls the curtain back on a weird long-term phenomenon at Seattle Public Schools - the more money powerful union and school officials receive, the more they complain they don’t have enough money.   Westneat states the situation concisely:

“But the constant sense of crisis, even with all this new money, is a political catastrophe in the making. State lawmakers, teachers unions, School Board members: You can’t raise our taxes this much, to spend so much more, but then, in the same motion, cut back on programs and insist you’re broke. Still broke.

At some point the customers are not going to believe you anymore.”

The property tax burden Seattle residents pay is now the highest ever.  The city council raises taxes every year, and the mayor and school district consistently press for larger special levies.  As Seattle’s high tax burden becomes increasingly unaffordable for low-income working families and modest-income elderly, the city’s income gap is wider than ever.  Seattle is becoming like New York - great place to live if you’re rich, a struggle if you’re not.

Danny Westneat’s column is worth reading in full: