Seattle should charge a new fee on development to pay for affordable housing, the City Council decided Monday.
The "linkage fee" would be a charge per square foot on new commercial and residential buildings. It would be lowest for projects in low-cost areas, with higher fees in medium- and high-cost areas. The city would spend the money raised to build homes affordable for low-income households....The fee would be between $5 and $22 per square foot, thus adding $10,000 to $44,000 to the costs of building a 2,000 square foot home. Meaning, all else equal, fewer new homes will be built in Seattle.
But--the politicians cross their hearts and hope to die-- it will magically result in MORE new homes for low income people. After deductions for administrative expenses, of course.