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Seattle City Council Shows Early Signs Of Liking Housing Levy Plan

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KUOW Photo/Ross Reynolds

The Seattle City Council showed early signs of support Thursday for Mayor Ed Murray's housing levy. Murray has proposed a $290 million levy that's twice the size of the existing one.

The council will decide whether to put the measure on the August ballot. First, the council's looking at Seattle's housing needs.

A presentation by council staffers showed residents who make below the median income -- $60,000 -- struggle to pay rent. And two in ten renters spend more than half of their income on rent.

That hit a nerve with Councilmember Tim Burgess.

That "makes the case for why we need to renew the levy and why we focus on preserving or creating new affordable housing, because even at the 80 percent of median income, you'll be hard pressed," he said.

The size of the new levy would come at a cost to taxpayers: $122 per year for a median value home.

The City Council has eight more meetings on the topic before deciding on sending it to the ballot.

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