Monday, March 20, 2023
March 20, 2023

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Letter: Tax break not good stewardship


I just received my special election ballot in the mail, and am voting for the Affordable Housing Levy. However, this is a national problem and as long as people are free to travel from state to state, homelessness (and immigration) costs should be handled at the federal level, not the state.

I read the Jan. 24 Columbian article “Vancouver approves property tax exemption on waterfront apartment complex,” reporting the city council had approved a property tax exemption for the Broadstone Apartments, Block 19, of $2,765,000 over eight years in return for assigning 36 (20 percent) units as “affordable housing.”

There is no indication as to how many of the 36 are studios ($20 discount), one bedroom ($218), or two bedroom ($940). If they are all studios, it’s a discount of $69,120 over eight years. All one bedroom: $753,408. All two bedroom: $3,248,640. More likely would be 12 apartments of each type: $23,040, $251,136 and $1,082,880 discounts. However, it would not surprise me if the numbers tended toward the lower subsidized units. In any case, I think the city tax resources would be better allocated toward more reasonable housing in other parts of the city. Approving $2.7 million for a few “affordable” units on the waterfront is nice, but not good stewardship, in my opinion.

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