As any realtor will tell you, a great many people make their decision where to live based on the quality of the public school in the neighborhood and in the city itself.
While Washington state grew 14 percent from 2000 to 2010, the City of Tacoma grew a measly 2.5 percent during this period. Meanwhile, nearby cities of Seattle, Olympia and Bellingham grew at eight, nine and 20 percent, respectively.
Increasing the attractiveness and functionality of Tacoma’s school buildings is critical for the city’s effort to rebuild itself and to obtain enough population in its neighborhood centers to become vibrant again. As a bonus, the act of rebuilding many of Tacoma’s historical school buildings will reduce blight in the city and make it more attractive and livable.
Hence, supporting Proposition 1 on the November ballot is critical not only for the education of the future residents of Tacoma, but for the future of the City of Destiny itself. Because of the current low interest rates, the property tax rate will actually decrease once Proposition 1 passes.
(Bjornson is a Tacoma attorney who often writes about downtown revitalization issues.)