City Angry Like A Fox
posted by December 5 at 12:48 PMon
City Council Member Tom Rasmussen—chair of the council’s housing committee—is drawing fire from one of his most frequent allies, John Fox. The Seattle Displacement Coalition leader has worked with Rasmussen on several pieces of housing and condo-conversion legislation, but now he’s criticizing Rasmussen for a proposal, which would give tax breaks to developers.
Rasmussen’s proposal is designed to create more affordable housing, but Fox—who has a history of holding his allies’ feet to the fire—says the proposal will serve a population that’s already being taken care of. The proposal would give tax breaks to developers who build multifamily housing for residents who make 70 to 80 percent of the median income. Fox says there are already 100,000 surplus units in King County, which are affordable for that group.
Although Fox thinks Rasmussen’s proposal doesn’t go far enough, it’s still better than a proposal by Mayor Greg Nickels that would have given tax breaks to developers who priced units around 100 percent of median income. Still, Fox says he’s ready to challenge Rasmussen’s proposal if it’s enacted. “If they implement this, [we’ll have to] sit down with an attorney and look at litigation,” Fox says.
“That’s his style,” Rasmussen says. “John is an advocate. While he and I have worked most everything together effectively, this is just one area where there’s a disagreement. We never all agree 100 percent on city issues.”