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Seattle City Council unanimously passes $160 million waterfront tax

The Seattle City Council unanimously passed a $160 million tax establishing the Waterfront Local Improvement District (LID).

Seattle City Council voted unanimously in favor of a $160 million property tax to pay for a 20-acre renovation of the waterfront.

The 8-0 vote establishes the Waterfront Local Improvement District, known as LID. 

The legislation, part of a 'compromise' plan forwarded by Mayor Jenny Durkan, comes after months if not years of negotiations.

“I’m thrilled that Seattle has taken a transformative step toward reconnecting our downtown with the Puget Sound, building a new waterfront for all, and opening up 20 acres of public spaces for all of Seattle," Durkan said Monday. "This is a once in a generation opportunity to recreate Seattle for the future, and I am excited that we are seizing that opportunity together."

The Office of the Waterfront said construction will begin on the more than $700 million project later this year. It includes new street configurations, aquarium expansion, an overlook walk, and a park. 

The Downtown Seattle Association released the following statement Monday on the passage of the LID vote: "The legislation approved by the City Council will ensure that the Central Waterfront Park is welcoming, clean, safe and attractive for years to come. This agreement includes important provisions for oversight and builds upon the effective and successful public/private partnership model established by DSA and the city, which has led to the transformation of Westlake Park and Occidental Square."

Millions in funds will come from private sources and existing revenue streams, but some residential property owners balked at the original asking price.

The new waterfront tunnel is expected to open February 4, with the viaduct scheduled for full teardown by this summer.

Seattle wants to finish the full waterfront renovations by 2023.