We have received a ton of questions about the potential local improvement district (LID) assessment for the waterfront improvements that would affect some property owners in Downtown Seattle, Belltown and South Lake Union.
Since we live in the boundaries of the LID we received additional information on the proposed assessment and thought we would summarize what we know for our readers:
- The Seattle City Council passed a Resolution declaring their intent to initiate the formation of the LID to construct certain elements of the Waterfront Seattle Program
- The LID is a funding tool by which property owners are assessed to help fund the costs of a public improvement that they benefit from by way of a increased property value due to the improvement (special benefit)
- The LID assessment cannot exceed the property's total special benefit
- The LID only pays for a portion of the Waterfront improvements
- It is the city's intent that the LID shall be a one-time assessment and shall not include any future supplemental assessments
- There are still public hearings you can attend where you can submit your public comments in support of or objecting to the LID
- The preliminary assessment percentage is 48.23% of the estimated special benefit of the LID improvements for each specific property
- For example:
- Our estimated special benefit of LID improvements to our condo: $823.50
- Our estimated assessment for our condo: $397.14
What we heard from our readers and neighbors, who own residential property in the LID boundary, was that they anticipated having to be thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars for their LID assessment. This was causing a bit of panic for people and causing several of those concerned to sell or consider selling their properties to avoid having to pay the LID assessment. We were also hearing concerns voiced from potential buyers that they didn't want to buy a condo within the boundary of the LID not knowing what they would be on the hook for in terms of this LID assessment amount.
I would think that this information will help quell people's fears a bit as it is much less than we heard most people were anticipating. Hopefully this news, and the Head Tax being squashed, will help the Downtown area condo market to heat back up and maybe open the dam a bit on the buyers who were sitting on the sidelines fearing the Head Tax and LID assessment repercussions.
By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.