As part of the Waterfront Seattle funding plan, Seattle City Council established a Local Improvement District (LID) in January 2019. One funding mechanism among many, the Waterfront LID is a tool through which property owners in the LID contribute to a portion of the Waterfront Seattle improvement costs through LID assessments. The Waterfront LID improvements are within Waterfront Seattle.

On November 18, 2019, Council passed Resolution 31915 which initiated the process to confirm Waterfront LID assessments. The Assessment Roll Hearing was held on February 4th, 2020, was continued to later dates and times, and concluded in July 2020. The Hearing Examiner filed a written report with the City Clerk on Tuesday, September 8th, 2020.You may access the report here. Consistent with the Findings and Recommendation of the Hearing Examiner, Council passed Resolution 31979 on November 9, 2020, to remand 17 properties and return jurisdiction to the Hearing Examiner for a final recommendation. The Hearing Examiner filed the final written report with the City Clerk on Monday, February 1, 2021. You may access the final report here.  

The City Clerk published notice that the final report has been filed on February 2, 2021. Property owners who made timely objections to their assessments in the manner required by law may file an appeal with the Clerk before 5pm on February 16, 2021. After all appeals are heard, Council may consider the assessment roll ordinance to confirm LID assessment amounts as early as spring 2021.

If Council passes the assessment roll ordinance in spring 2021, the optional 30-day prepayment period would be in spring/summer 2021. After the 30-day prepayment period, any remaining balance of an assessment is financed and the first annual installment would be due one year later, in spring/summer 2022.

PROPOSED FINAL LID ASSESSMENTS

No payment is due at this time. Subject to Council action, the City currently anticipates the 30-day optional prepayment period to be in spring/summer 2021 and the first annual installment to be due in spring/summer 2022.

As stated in RCW 35.49.020, Council has the authority to designate how assessments are repaid after the 30-day prepayment period. Council may direct Waterfront LID assessments be paid over an 18-year period with installments of equal principal plus interest due each year, or they may direct that assessments be paid over a 20-year period with interest-only annual installments for the first 10 years and equal annual principal installments plus interest for 10 years starting in year 11. 

Property owners can use the LID property search tool to review a property’s final special benefit and proposed final LID assessment.

Please note the data used to populate the search tool is based on the proposed final assessment roll. The official proposed final assessment roll is on file and available to be viewed at the Office of the City Clerk and online: proposed final assessment roll.

Consistent with the Waterfront LID Formation Ordinance No. 125760 passed in January 2019, the proposed final assessment roll, or the sum of all proposed final LID assessments is, $160 million plus approximately $15.5 million for financing (i.e. the costs of issuing LID Bonds and making a Guaranty Fund deposit).

If LID assessments are confirmed by ordinance, property owners will have the option to prepay all or part of their assessment during a 30-day prepayment period. As stated in the LID formation ordinance, property owners who choose to pay their assessment in full during the 30-day prepayment period will receive a discount on the total amount of their assessment for their portion of the costs of financing that is included in their final LID assessment.

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THE ASSESSMENT ROLL HEARING & REPORT

The Assessment Roll Hearing was held on February 4th, 2020 and was continued to later dates and times. The Assessment Roll hearing concluded in July 2020. You may view the hearing recordings here: http://seattlechannel.org/hearingexaminer. You may read the written objections on file with the City Clerk and the exhibits filed at the hearing.

Following the conclusion of the Assessment Roll Hearing, the Hearing Examiner filed a written report with the City Clerk on Tuesday, September 8th, 2020.You may access the report here. Consistent with the Findings and Recommendation of the Hearing Examiner, Council passed Resolution 31979 on November 9, 2020, to remand 17 properties and return jurisdiction to the Hearing Examiner for a final recommendation. The Hearing Examiner filed the final written report with the City Clerk on Monday, February 1, 2021. You may access the final report here. 

The City Clerk published notice that the final report has been filed on February 2, 2021. Property owners who made timely objections to their assessments in the manner required by law may file an appeal with the Clerk before 5pm on February 16, 2021. After all appeals are heard, Council may consider the assessment roll ordinance to confirm LID assessment amounts as early as spring 2021.

PROCESS TO CONFIRM LID ASSESSMENTS

The schedule below outlines the process to confirm the Waterfront LID assessment roll.

Waterfront Seattle LID Local Improvement District timeline. [FINAL SPECIAL BENEFIT STUDY • Q2/Q3 2019 Parcel-by-parcel analysis • Q4 2019 Final special benefit study complete] [ASSESSMENT ROLL Q1 2020 – Q2 2021 Public hearing to contest and appeal individual assessments  Q2 2021 Council considers ordinance on final assessments Q2 2021 10-day legal appeal period for assessments confirmed by ordinance] [COLLECTIONS BEGIN Q2 2021 30-day optional prepayment period Q2 2022 Annual assessment payments begin (option to finance)]

The City hired an independent consultant to develop the final special benefit study and proposed final assessment roll for the Waterfront LID. The Final Special Benefit Study and Addenda provide a summary of the Waterfront LID improvements and explain the appraisal methodology the independent consultant used to determine the special benefit to properties in the LID. Each property's LID assessment is based on the expected increase in value to the property (the special benefit to the property) from constructing the public improvements.

During the assessment roll confirmation process, property owners have the opportunity to challenge their proposed final LID assessments. Following the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Examiner prepares a written report with findings and recommendations. The Waterfront LID Assessment Roll Hearing concluded in July 2020 and the report was filed on Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 with the City Clerk and sent to City Council. Property owners who made timely objections to their assessments in the manner required by law have the opportunity to appeal the Hearing Examiner’s recommendations. After the hearing and appeal process, Council may consider an ordinance to confirm final LID assessment amounts as early as spring 2021.

Should City Council pass an ordinance to confirm the final assessment roll, property owners will receive a letter from the City with their levied final assessment amount and information about the 30-day prepayment period. During the 30-day prepayment period property owners will have the option to pay all or part of their assessment up-front, interest free. Property owners who choose to pay their assessment in full during the 30-day prepayment period will receive a discount on the total amount of their assessment for the costs of financing that are included in their final LID assessment.

After the 30-day prepayment period, any remaining balance of any assessment will be due in annual installments and will be subject to interest. The interest rate will be determined after the 30-day prepayment period, when the City issues LID bonds to finance the project. The interest rate will depend on the market conditions at the time the bonds are issued.

LID background

An LID is a funding tool governed by state law, by which property owners pay to help fund the costs of public improvements that directly benefit their property. For the Waterfront LID, property owners will contribute to a portion of the improvement costs based on the “special benefit” they will receive from those improvements.

In January 2019, Council passed, and Mayor Durkan signed into law, an ordinance officially forming the Waterfront LID. This ordinance commits the City to not exceeding $160 million in LID funding, plus the amounts necessary to pay the costs of financing.

The LID is a key component of the Waterfront Seattle Program funding plan, along with City and State funding and private philanthropy. An LID was included in the Waterfront Strategic Plan and approved by Council in 2012.

Related documents

Contact us

If you have questions about the LID, please email lid@waterfrontseattle.org or call 206.499.8040.

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