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Seattle City Council To Make Two Important Votes Monday

Kate Elston
07/09/2012

It's a busy afternoon for the Seattle City Council Monday. It has two important votes on the agenda.

TRANSCRIPT

The council members will first vote to put the seawall bond measure on November's election ballot. That measure would update Seattle's waterfront seawall. Experts have said that wall needs to be repaired — it was damaged in the 2001 earthquake and would likely collapse in another.

Replacing the 70–year–old seawall would cost $300 million. That would mean about an extra $60 a year in property taxes on a home that's worth $360,000.

The measure is likely to be on the ballot, it already has unanimous support from the council members. City officials say they haven't received public opposition to the measure, so they expect it to pass in November.

The council will also vote on whether to raise taxi meter rates. That ordinance would increase the price of most cab rides anywhere from 5 to 7 percent. It would also increase the flat rate from Downtown Seattle to Sea–Tac from $32 to $40.

The proposed increase was designed to help drivers cover the rising costs of living, plus taxes and insurance that they must pay to drive a cab. But at a public hearing last month, many of the drivers came out against the legislation. Hassan Ossman was one of them. He told the City Council, if rates go up, business will go down.

Hassan Ossman: "This is the best recipe for failure to increase your rate when you have stiff competition."

He said the cab business is losing out to town cars and limos. If the council votes that increase through, expect to see higher taxi prices kick in towards the end of the summer.

I'm Kate Elston with KUOW News.

© Copyright 2012, KUOW

[Ed.: The broadcast version of this story incorrectly stated the bond measure would mean an extra $60 per month in property taxes; it would mean an extra $60 per year. (07/10/2012)]

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