Seattle’s Homelessness, Property Tax, and Pure Stupidity

Seattle Property Taxes and Homeless Issues

Please do not let the Seattle Mayor push a $55 million property tax supposedly to help the homeless, or create another kind of tax, unless he makes a laundry list of exactly what and how every dime will be spent. He (and you as well as the King County Council) come through with a broad brush and hit the sympathy button of voters that you actually are helping someone. You are creating jobs for lawyers, councilors, and do gooders but not the guy sleeping in the street. I think there are more homeless people than ever. No one really knows why but its not the reasons you are stating

I want to give you a personal story of ONE homeless person. MY BROTHER. He was an alcoholic. Handsome, smart and had 11 of us brothers and sisters. Yep we all tried to help him, had him stay with us until his verbal tirades made us kick him out. We loaned him money etc. But this is what he told us all.

He thought we were all stupid to be going to work everyday, working our tails off buying a house (he didn’t think we needed), buying furniture, a car etc. All a big waste of money in his eyes. He liked freedom. Get on a freight train and travel free. He would come to Washington to pick apples and visit me of course. He would go to California to pick grapes or olives etc. He did not get food stamps or welfare. He ate in soup kitchens, missions and anyplace he could sweet talk himself into. He was homeless because he wanted complete freedom from RULES. He did not want to hear about a shelter where he was crowded up like “cows in a barn” (his words). He did not want to be preached to. He worked just enough to buy wine and smokes. No money you would have spent on him would have changed him one bit. He was happy, and you don’t change happy. If someone wanted to go see him you could find him on a hillside in California among a bunch of other wino’s.  Here is how he felt about the counseling and preachers. Some mission here in Seattle made them listen to a sermon before they got food. He had got to be a regular there and this day the preacher got right in his face, thumping the bible and telling him how the bible says it’s such a sin to ride freight trains and be lazy. He stood up and said he had read the bible a lot and never once had he found the word “freight train” in it. He said the preacher should not make up stuff, and stick to the bible and not lie. He said the bible told a lot about Jack Asses as the way of travel, and now the country was being ran by Jack Asses that thought they knew what they were doing. The last time he visited me, my husband was dying of cancer. I had three children and could not stand to hear him rave about how all the work trying to buy this OLD HOUSE had caused my husband to be sick. I told him I would give him a ride to where he belonged and took him down to skid road and dropped him off. Did not give him a dime. He called others saying he was sick and needed money too get help. Another brother he called asked for the name of the hospital or doctor and would send a check to them but with the Country Music playing so loud in the back ground it was obvious what was happening. Last any of us heard until they found him dead in California all alone. All of us chipped in for a casket and a suit to be buried in and a plot.  I still love him. No one could help him because HE DID NOT WANT HELP.

The above was what I sent to the City Council, but since “I was talking and can’t shut up” I will continue and make a story for the Emerald Journal out of this.

I did not agree with my brothers logic and thought owning a home was the greatest accomplishment a person could have. I thought if you worked all your life it was way better than the freedom he talked of. Well I am 93 plus. Lived in my old house for 70 years. We paid $5,500 for it in 1946. I bought a little house right beside it 40 years ago for $10,500 to be able to have a little income with my social security. I should have listened to my brother.

We property owners do not really own our property at all. When the City/County/State can swoop in and make rules that take all ownership away is worse than any criminal could do with a gun. If I wanted to rent out some of my spare bedrooms (have a lot of them) I would first have to have the city tell me if they were the exact dimensions. I would have to have heat installed (no space heaters) etc, in other words it would cost me more so sign up and pay their $175 registration fee and inspections and god only knows what else. Now to the rental. All of my rights have been taken away except two. Yes 2 things I have control over. If you read the landlord tenant rules you will find we cannot discriminate. (that word has taken all sensible thoughts away). We cannot discriminate against male or female, grown ups, or children, convicts, people who have been evicted , alcoholics, drug addicts we can’t ask how they expect to pay their rent after the first month. I Can’t ask for a large security deposit. Transgender, gays, lesbians.  ALL HAVE A RIGHT TO PAY A MONTHS RENT AND MOVE INTO MY RENTAL. I can’t turn anyone away and the city has hired people to go out and pretend they are looking for a place to see if they can catch someone to harass and fine and get a lawyer a job. If I pulled a stunt like that I would be arrested for entrapment. Adult living only facilities can’t turn anyone away that have children. The city calls this discriminating. I call it taking complete control of our property. Unless I can chose who I want to rent to, I don’t own the house. I am not running it for the city. I will never show it to anyone again. I will simply close it up and use it for storage. How will that help keep affordable housing? On top of that the taxes for the rental was over $3600 last year! Now the mayor wants another 5 million property tax to help the homeless. All it is doing is making more people homeless.

BUT LETS NOT FORGET  I said we can turn down people WHO SMOKE (tobacco) (but its OK to smoke dope) and people with pets.

A pet is about all a homeless person has left in the world, and almost for sure he smokes cigarettes. Where are the so called homeless getting the money for booze and smokes? We have a new village for homeless in our neighborhood, located right by the only bus stop we have if we come from town. lol  I am too old to even walk over and look at it, but the city says it’s really good for the neighborhood. They will have a dial a bus to get them where they need to go, a doctor will come check on them, Sure more than I can get. I can’t even get a bus to the food bank if I wanted to go.  They won’t pick me up because I don’t “qualify”.

Before you voters (tenants included) vote for a new property tax you better realize your rent is high because you have voted in this crap. It has not helped a soul. The Mayor has paid $850,000 for an expert to tell him no one should live in the jungle. Whoopee – who would have ever guessed that in a million years.

Bet my brother is spinning in his grave with laughter. hope so. Now he spent another $100,000 on some survey or study. Not one thing has helped the homeless. Nothing ever will if they don’t want to be CONTROLLED like we are. When the city can send out some women with a bunch of kids to ask to rent at an adult living apartment house to entrap them something needs fixing for sure. A woman had to be a nut case to walk up to a place with kids to a place that clearly said adults only and even ask. WHAT IF a bunch of us old 90 year olds go to a daycare and insist on spending our days there? If they turn me down is that discriminating due to my age or sex? We would like a nice quite nap time, we would like nice soft children type food, and yes a little help changing our pads or diapers when necessary. We would want adult stories read to us. Of course we would expect the daycare to put away the trikes and roller skates and toys we might trip over and would want the children to be quiet.  That sounds really stupid but not a bit different that when adults have raised their kids and want to move into a place where no little kids are running in the hall, babies crying all night. We have been there done that. But we can have an adult only home.

Everyone has their opinion. I want to mention the article in The Seattle Times 3/1/17 by Danny Westneat. He writes about an old school landlord that doesn’t want to raise his rents but now he has to or sell to a rich developer. The Tax bill on one of his buildings went up $1500. That is $750 more on each unit and now it will go up more. But Danny says the homeless are not drawn here because of what he calls Freeseattle. See another of his articles “Homeless have some news for both the right wing and the left” Seattle Times 3/3/17. I do not agree with his findings in this article. He said in November teams of researches interviewed the homeless in the streets and in shelters. He said this debunked the theory that the homeless gravitate here because of Seattle’s liberal generosity. The homeless said they did not come here to score a soggy wonder bread sandwich or a Styrofoam cup of “hot” chocolate and a blanket handed out by a Union Gospel Truck. FYI this weeks Union Gospel Truck will have 20 pairs of warm gloves that I donated to be handed out, plus hats my daughter knits by the dozen and bags of homemade cookies she makes. I baked for them for years but had to give that up when I hit 85. I fully realize our handouts do not make much of a difference but WE TRY and pay for it out of our own purse. I should be able to ask the mayor and each council member to send me some cash to pay for my stuff. lol

What these homeless in the trenches talked about is something different that what I saw on the news. A man living in a tiny house said he gets a check for $700, plus $100 for food stamps.  He lived in a tiny house paid for by property tax dollars. Think he pays $90 a month. That would attract people to Seattle for sure. They come here for some reason, and it’s sure not the weather. I used to own the apartment house beside me. Rent was cheap and they were almost all drunks (real quiet and peaceful). On the first of the month they waited for the mail man. I would cash their checks for them and take the rent (less than $100 a month then) and with all them getting money for smokes and alcohol they could pretty much party the whole month. I really resented the fact that I had to be on the bus for work every day at 6 a.m. while these men, younger than me, partied on my dime. This is not new but we are being drowned in taxes until we no longer can shut up along with the controls and rules. I would like for the mayor or any city council member to answer these questions truthfully.

  1. Does handing an alcoholic money help cure his addiction?
  2. Does handing a smoker money to buy cigarettes help him quit smoking?
  3. Does providing(tax payer’s pay for) a safe place for an addict to shoot up heroin help him kick his addiction?
  4. Does forcing landlords completely out of business by raising property tax so high help the housing shortage?
  5. Does TRYING  to force a landlord to rent to anyone with the exception of a smoker (reg. cigs) or a dog owner help anything?

I never had a problem renting to gays, blacks, or Mexicans or any religion etc. My requirement was that they had a PAYING JOB and had a good work record. All my tenants stayed 5 to 8 years. Only left when they saved enough to buy a place or moved out of state or got married etc.

Now I have to sit vacant. No way “in hell” with I let a convict, drug user, or section 8 person or a bunch of little kids move in. I am alone, live right beside it and only kept it so I could control who lived beside me.

I do not owe a homeless person a thing. I have looked in my purse and if I had money to pay for something I wanted, then I could afford it. I have never had a credit card and if someone doesn’t want to work it’s their problem, not mine, but the city has made it my problem. I have never worked myself up to poverty level in their eyes, but I have to help pay rent for immigrants (legal and illegal).

Our Mayor is so out of touch with ordinary people that its useless to even try to communicate with him. How he got on the transgender kick muddles my brain. No scientific fact says what a transgender person is, but if you look on your birth certificate it will state boy or girl. Since The Mayor is gay and has a gay wife or husband or whatever they can go to the bathroom together. But what if his partner one day decided he felt like a woman and headed in the woman’s locker room would that be OK with the mayor? This transgender mess has opened a can of worms for sure. A CNN reporter said if a man shows his penis in a little 12 year old girls locker room and she is offended it’s her problem and her parents problem for teaching her wrong. Can a man put on a dress and lipstick and get a cheaper woman’s loan to start a business. A boy can if wanted to can play on a girls team or vice versa and ruin all sports. Install some port a pots so a transgender doesn’t have to decide whether he is a girl or boy that day.

We can be anything we want to be. Some days you can feel like a girlie girl and some days you can feel like a tom boy. This transgender crap (using the only printable word here) that our Mayor endorses shows he has to be SICK. I am not talking gays and lesbians, they use the bathroom that suits their birth, but a transgender is not a scientific fact at all.

We don’t even know what AGE means. When that monstrosity of Head Start for kids passed, most people took for granted it was for little preschool kids. WRONG.  Read my past article in the Emerald City Journal about what a joke that was. It covered for babies in the womb to 24 year old kids. Back to rentals – I hope landlords get together and take back their property. I am too old to lead the fight. I don’t plan more than a day ahead, but my old brain is telling me that MY BROTHER WAS RIGHT. Foolish to have worked all my life to buy a house and a rental to be told by the city who can live in it.

One more thing as an example. I charged $850 a month for my rental. It’s a cute two bedroom house. I also live on social security which is $1,200 a month. The city says if someone says they are on social security I have to rent to them. Well I am a shining example that that will not work because with $1,200 social security a month income I could not afford to rent my OWN little house.  I could not pay $850 in rent and that is way to cheap and then pay the utilities and other expenses to make it each month. I barely make it on my SS check with the tiny bit of rent that is left over after property tax and insurance.

What is almost funny (but not the ha ha kind) this may stir up so much fuss that each council member will have to hire another assistant. Not sure how many they have but all they do is make rules for taxpayers to follow. I consider them a sort of welfare case. They produce nothing and live off taxpayers. If half of them quit we would never know the difference.

I hope this gives you readers something to think about and hopefully write your opinion for the Emerald City Journal, even if you do not agree with me, as well as to the mayor and city council members.

Lilly Marek

Having lived in Seattle (Georgetown) for over 80 years, Lilly has a passion for the area. A true Seattleite, Lilly has the history & experience to discuss any topic. Being retired, she enjoys visiting with her many grand children, gardening, and writing.

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