(The Center Square) – The Downtown Seattle Association is calling out Seattle officials after a new study found that, despite taxes increasing at an exponential rate, the city fails to address residents’ concerns.

The study – commissioned by the DSA – found that since 2013, Seattle’s general fund and operating fund taxes have grown four times faster than the economy and population. When adjusted for inflation, taxes have grown about two and a half times faster than the economy and population.

Looking further into the findings, the city collected $2,042 in taxes for every person living in Seattle in 2013, whereas it collected $554 more per person in 2023 with $2,514 – a 27% increase.

Property, sales, business and occupation, and utility taxes comprised about 83% of the city’s tax revenues in 2013. In 2024, that share is estimated to drop to 60% in 2024. Voter-approved property tax lid lifts – increasing the limit on the amount that can be collected – and taxes approved by the Seattle City Council have grown faster than the rate of property, sales, business and occupation, and utility taxes.

“This report shows a city council that has been fixated on raising taxes and spending more and more money without delivering results on the most pressing issues facing Seattle,” DSA CEO Jon Scholes said in a statement. “City taxes are at a record high while gun violence, drug overdoses and homelessness are on the rise and police staffing is at historic lows.”

The city saw its highest number of reported violent crimes in 2022 with 5,635. As of Oct. 31, there have been 4,468 reported violent crimes so far in 2023, according to the Seattle Police Department Crime Dashboard. Notably, there have been four more homicides throughout Seattle in 2023 (56) than in 2022 (52).

The study also points out that there were 43 shootings per 100,000 people in 2013 and 98 shootings per 100,000 people in 2023, an increase of nearly 130%.

Seattle voters recently approved an affordable housing levy that will further increase taxes in order to generate $970 million through 2030, or $138.6 million annually. For 2024, the new tax levy will start at 45 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or $383 a year for the median Seattle homeowner. That is approximately $261 more per year than the expiring levy’s median cost of $122 per year.

Despite the latest approval by Seattle voters, a similar study from the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce found that 68% of respondents say they do not trust the city to spend their tax dollars responsibly, and 61% of voters believe that taxes in Seattle are too high for the level of service that the city provides.

“This council — with six members who won’t be in office a month and a half from now — hasn’t earned a right to ask voters and businesses for more taxes when the problems they’ve promised to solve have only worsened,” Scholes said.