68% of Seattleites Don’t Trust Their City to Spend Tax Dollars Responsibly


(Spencer Pauley, The Center Square) – The latest quality of life survey from the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce reveals residents’ growing disdain for how the city is utilizing their tax dollars.

The survey was conducted by EMC Research, with 700 Seattle voters interviewed across each council district from Sept. 14-24.

When given the prompt “I trust the City of Seattle to spend my tax dollars responsibly,” 68% of respondents disagreed with the sentiment.

“68% of voters say they do not trust the city of Seattle to spend their tax dollars responsibly,” Seattle Metro Chamber President Rachel Smith told The Center Square in an email. “Frustrations are increasing because Seattle voters want a plan and they want to see visible progress – it’s the lack of progress that erodes trust.”

The Chamber’s Index survey also found 61% of voters believe that taxes in Seattle are too high for the level of service that the city provides.

The Center Square previously reported on the chamber’s survey revealing public safety was listed as the second-most concerning issue at 48%, behind homelessness at 51%. Only 3% voted for taxes as their most concerning issue.

Despite the rising concerns residents have for their communities, the survey indicates that there is not much trust in city leadership to solve the biggest issues facing Seattle. Only 15% of respondents agreed with the prompt, “I trust that the city has an effective plan to address the critical issues facing our city, like homelessness, affordability and public safety.”

“Crime and public safety as a top concern has increased substantially and has now become a sticking point,” Smith said. “To restore public trust, the city should invest tax dollars in a way that gets results on the most-pressing issues, and do so with transparency and accountability.”