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#Future50NW: The 21st Century City and a Livable Downtown for All

#Future50NW, Community

The following is a guest post by Jon Scholes, President and CEO of the Downtown Seattle Association.

Rapid economic growth. Booming construction. An influx of people from all over the world. Those are three ways to describe Seattle and the Greater Puget Sound region today. There’s no getting around it, nor should we want to. A growing, bustling downtown means a stronger Seattle and a stronger Seattle is good for all.

When Laird Norton Wealth Management, both a long-time Downtown Seattle Association member and a long-time Pacific Northwest company, celebrated its 50th anniversary this year by asking what ideas, institutions and individuals would shape the next 50 years of our region, we knew we had to be part of this conversation.

Why? Because so many of the issues facing our region are playing out in downtown right now, and getting it right here will help everyone get it right across the greater Puget Sound area. … Read More

#Future50NW: Collaborations Are Key in Cultivating Community

#Future50NW, Community

Culture, nature and community are three things many cities work to cultivate. Bring them all together and you’ve hit on part of what makes the Pacific Northwest unique. Starting this Friday, July 14, all three will be on display when Pianos in the Parks kicks off its fourth summer of getting people to “get out and play” artist-designed pianos (in 13 locations around the Puget Sound), to socialize and to (re)discover our many parks.

As LNWM celebrates 50 years in business this year and looks ahead to the next 50, we think Pianos in the Parks and other such collaborations will play an important role in the future of our region. Not surprisingly, we think community-minded collaborations are an integral part of #Future50 NW: the ideas, institutions and individuals that will shape the Pacific Northwest’s next half century. … Read More

Seattle’s Proposed Tax on High Earners

Community, Money Matters

Seattle’s new proposed income tax on high earners passed unanimously by the City Council on Monday and was met with cheers, boos and questions regarding the constitutionality of the tax. We received a call the same day from a producer at KUOW who had a few questions about the tax for a story that aired on the program The Record.

Some of the points we raised: The proposed tax only deals with half of the equation – those perceived as underpaying taxes – and does not address how this new tax will benefit those who are perhaps paying too much in tax; and the amount of the tax has risen significantly since it was first proposed — from 1.5% in April to 2.25% on Monday. And, we did some math. The 2.5% surtax would apply on incomes over $250,000 for singles/$500,000 for couples filing jointly and is expected to raise as much as $140 million a year. This implies that a total of $6.2 billion in currently generated income over the thresholds would be taxed (to generate the $140 million a year). As KUOW puts it, we are indeed a Region of Boom.

In Retirement, Community Really Matters

Community, Second Acts

The Retirement Life Planning Group here at LNWM does quite a bit of hands-on research, so we can provide clients with information, advice and referrals. For me, part of that research is finding out what is going on locally. That is key during retirement. And one of my sources for this is a King County newsletter called AgeWise. The July 2017 AgeWise, for example, is full of specific info on how seniors living in King County (and even Washington State) can stay connected and socially engaged. … Read More

#Future50NW: The Seattle Boom

#Future50NW, Community, Money Matters

“With more cranes by far than any city in the United States, Seattle is transforming by the day.” That was at the top of the invite to an interesting event I attended last week: The Seattle Commercial Real Estate Expo 2017, hosted by the Puget Sound Business Journal. While there was much food for thought at this event, the most interesting comments, I thought, were by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist at Windermere:  … Read More