Was the vote really 8-2? With Burgess absent, that means we have 11 councilmembers now.
"Alison Holcomb, from the right..."

Oh Christ, Ansel. Just go get a job on the Sawant campaign, already.
Yay regressive taxation! Go!
@1: Typo. It's hot.
"Alison Holcomb, who appears intent on challenging Sawant for her council seat next year from the right, claimed this morning an interview with PubliCola that the employee head tax is "regressive.""

Well, that sums her up. She can go fuck herself.
Alison Holcomb - you mean the Lawyer from the ALCU who helped get pot legalized?


I am now ready for the Ansel is a knee jerk wonk bandwagon
Votes and council actions have repercussions.
Mobility is a human right? tell me where in our Constitution it says that.
Why is it Olympia's job to fund a County organization?
A simpler solution would be to raise bus fares a whopping........wait for it.........50 CENTS!
I just voted against the city council acting as a parks board, so I'm happy to vote against this city council acting as a transportation benefit district oversight board.

Also, did Licata not read the bag fee legislation he voted in favor of ? They mandated a fee for paper bags of at least 5 cents. If Whole Foods wanted to charge $5 for their paper bags they are within the letter of the bag fee legislation.
If it includes a huge chunk of money for roads like the original did, then no way. No sales tax to support car/SOV infrastructure ever.
@9: It's hardly worth the pixels explaining to you that counties and cities can only do what the Legislature lets them do.
Straight fee car tabs and asked tax increase, it doesn't get more regressive than that. Gah, I hate the city council.
Alison Holcomb, who appears intent on challenging Sawant for her council seat next year from the right...

Seriously? You're going to try to paint Holcomb as a right-winger? That's just pathetic. We know you're in Sawant's pocket, but try to show a little integrity.

And let's remember -- Seattle Liberals, Democrats and Socialists will stand united on one thing -- no property tax on the Downtown Syndicate that pulls their puppet strings.
@6 saying that someone is challenging Sawant from the right is not like accussing them of being right wing.

and pot is most certainly not legal!!!
Ansel needs to grow the fuck up and calm down. His hiring by the Stranger sucks. For a while the Stranger was becoming pretty credible. But this dude's immature, black and white view of the world is bringing the paper back down to the activist rag it once was. Where is Dominic, Anna, or Cienna when we need them?
Hi, Ansel.

I'm sorry I didn't get back to you in time for your article.

An employee "head tax" is regressive because its weight falls more heavily on businesses with smaller profit margins than on those with larger profit margins.

Best regards,

well here a couple of pixels for the following an you might gain a few IQ points....

The tag line below the article's pic reads "OLYMPIA Refuses to properly fund King County Metro, so we have to do it ourselves."

that would imply that the author somehow thinks its Oly's job to fund Metro, and its NOT - its King County's job.

get it yet? or do I need to bitch-slap the stupid out of you?
still waiting for someone to explain to me why bus riders cant pay an extra quarter or know, for THEIR OWN transportation.
Earth to @13 -- The only taxes that King County (or Seattle) can levy are those authorized by the Legislature, by OLYMPIA. If you read the damned piece, even you could pick up on that. OLYMPIA is not paying the money, only authorizing the local tax. Grow a brain. At least try.
#18, most of us here miss that "activist rag" and want to see its return. If you want a soulless puff paper that is little more than a corporate shill, you've got the Times and the Weakly.
@19 Alison.

No. That doesn't quite work. The head tax is LESS regressive than the sales tax which is also less regressive than flat tax.

The flat tax effects poor people more than rich people because the $60 flat fee = A hell of a hike for poor people who are barely making ends meet as it is, but still have to have 2 cars in order to make it to work. But, barely effects the rich people who will only be paying $60 on their Ferrari.

The sales tax is less regressive because poor people buy less than rich people, and so end up paying less than them...but it still heavily effects their buying power far more than rich people.

The head tax is the least regressive because the poorer people are not the ones running small businesses. So, while the middle class will be effected more than the rich business owners, the working poor at least won't have an additional Regressive Sales Tax on top of the fucking Regressive as Fuck flat fee.

But, I know why you're calling the head tax regressive. Because it effects you and your husband more than it effects poor people. And you probably feel that's unfair. Even though you can afford it.

Go run in Kirkland.
@19 Your husband owns the Capitol Hill restaurant Witness and now you're both pissed off that you'll have to pay your workers more, so you're going to wage a political vendetta against the council member who led the charge. Okay, got it.
@11 - of course you are.
A little less snark, Ansel. Your derisive, contemptuous tone makes it difficult to read your articles, and even harder to take The Stranger news seriously. And I'm a lefty, on your side.

I would also recommend you improve your writing skills. Soon. Reading your work gives me a headache. Your articles are poorly written, clumsy to read and always negative, bitchy and childish. You are lucky that The Stranger dropped its standards low enough for you to crawl on board.

It's clear you haven't found your voice yet. I've read your work and see it changing, but it's all over the map. It's a hazard of being a junior reporter, but it's time to shape up. You will never make it to the big leagues if you keep performing on this level.

I'd like to come here for news, but you are driving me and many others away with your cynicism, immaturity and lack of writing skills. You can report the news with a particular bias, but you can do it in a mature, adult way. A way that doesn't tarnish you as a childish bomb-thrower, which is how you come across.
Holcomb is a restaurant owner (well, technically, her husband is), according to the Weekly article in the earlier post. Clearly, she's one of the anti-$15 minimum wage crowd, which is why she's going to go after Sawant. It's not about progressivism, it's about profit.
@24, @25, and @28,

That we're being asked to choose which regressive tax is the better regressive tax to fund pubic transportation is what concerns me. I think we ought to be fighting for progressive taxing options. In addition to continuing to work for MVET authority, we could be talking about a local progressive income tax.

And for the record, I'm not opposed to the $15 minimum wage law. Rather, I thought the conversation was unnecessarily and unfortunately divisive, pitting progressives against progressives. Addressing income and wealth disparity and the multiple problems that flow from them is a complex problem that is going to take many different people from many different perspectives coming together to find points of agreement. Pushing people away only hurts the effort.

All best,
I can only imagine how much less shitty my commute would be, and how many more people would have voted "for" metro if only half the idiots on the road without passengers would keep their stupid cars parked and just ride the damn bus. You don't need a vehicle in Seattle. You just need to be okay with the idea of having sexy, sexy legs in a couple of months' time, something you cannot achieve being stuck in your car in a traffic jam.
I'm not opposed to the $15 minimum wage law. Rather, I thought the conversation was unnecessarily
What do you mean by this? What in particular did you not not think was necessary - the mayor's income inequality committee, the multiple public hearings, the public rallys, the discussion in the press, the arguments in Council chamber? Would you have preferred a study as opposed to legislation? And how does that statement jive with
Addressing income and wealth disparity and the multiple problems that flow from them is a complex problem that is going to take many different people from many different perspectives coming together to find points of agreement.
isn't that a conversation? Which perspectives weren't heard? Was it the thousands of minimum wage employees? Was it the hundred or so small business owners? Was it big business? Was it poverty and community service organizations? Because the only one perspective I didn't hear much from was those living in poverty, who had no representative on the mayor's committee besides Sawant. How will you be a better representative of workers, when most of the city council is already friends and advocates for small businesses? Do you disagree that small businesses don't have several friends on the council?
Alison, you imagine yourself to be engaging in debate with intelligent people that will change their minds. None of that is happening here.

Best of luck (with whatever it is you're hoping for).

I don't drive into Seattle unless I have no other option. But- my taxes pay for the roads, not most of those here who pay, effectively, no taxes at all. If I want to drive a 7 passenger Ford Excursion (I'd have to first buy one since our family, not needing one, doesn't own one) into Seattle by myself on the roads I paid for I will. And I'll be passed by, cut off by, nearly hit by busses I never use and also pay for. Already. New taxes paying for routes or times few people use is bad policy and inherently inequitable. Want to work at a bar that means you must go home at 3 in the morning? Buy a damn car. Expecting a bus every 15 minutes at that hour paid for by others is insane, not a right.

I find it fascinating you criticizing the $15 Now fight as pitting "progressive against progressive" when you could easily run against someone like Sally Clarke instead of the most progressive member of the council. IT seems pitting progressive against progressive and causing unnecessary divisions is exactly what you're trying to do. Makes one wonder...
@33: Boy, it's a shame you don't get a vote on this one.

@34: Run Alison Run!
@33: Do you have any evidence to back up your assertion that most people in Seattle, or perhaps you just meant this comment section, pay "effectively" no taxes at all?

I will give you a headstart and even let you keep the weasel word "effectively" in there.

Speaking as a longtime veteran of political campaigns (though not in Seattle, so I have no skin in the game here), I'd say that Alison has clearly been practicing her candidate-speak: saying things that sound pretty to a large chunk of the electorate but that also are vague enough to avoid having to be accountable for real policy choices. "Complex problems," "different perspectives," "coming together," blah blah fucking blah.
What Theodore Gorath @ 36 said.
@29 Like...?

You like to criticize, but you propose no plan of action. You're no better than an ornery commenter here without something to go forward with.

For instance, how can you be pissed off about the $15 law that was so divisive, when it's way watered down from the initial push for $15/hr in 2015? Surely that means they listened to small businesses. Or, would you rather have something even more watered down?

Or, instead of a head tax, you'd rather have...?

Come on...Alison. Give us something to work with, other than being a Tim "No New Taxes" Eyman.
I think Allison is correct that a head tax more negatively impacts small businesses with more labor than businesses with less labor, but as a small business owner in an industry with high labor density, I still think the head tax would have been the better option than another addition to our already very high sales tax. In the end, businesses with high labor, like restaurants, have many employees who use Metro. And, the head tax would be a very small tax on my businesses. And, I could easily raise prices to cover the cost - less than 0.1%. But the head tax would have saved some Metro routes that will now be eliminated so it was the better idea.

Still, we should vote to save Metro.
Isn't it weird that The Stranger won't allow comments regarding the Spear/Chopp race?
Hey Meinart,

Glad you are here. Please talk about the fact that Murray didn't provide small business an adequate voice. Please talk about the fact that Murray gave small business TWO options: Either you take this package- or- I'll provide you with worse.

Now we have Holcomb blaming Sawant.


Holcomb is getting support from Murray's best buddies. Holcomb won't bite the hand that feeds her. She will work with the Democratic Machine and keep Burgess, Clark and Bagshaw on the Council.

Very nearly half of all people filing federal income tax pay no taxes. Of these leaches, many receive direct cash for their condescending to be citizens, in the form of EITC, various welfare programs, housing assistance, and my paying for their medical insurance thanks to Herr Obama.

At the state level I pay for these layabouts in duplicate or cooperative programs for the above. As for sales tax, it doesn't apply to food. My wife and I buy very little at retail that isn't food and, as an example, we paid less than a thousand dollars in direct state taxes. Fee based taxation (license tabs, various permits and so on) are also disproportionately paid by the well off. After all, tenants rarely pull building permits and own fewer cars. They don't own businesses, preferring to pretend that burger flipping "deserves" a middle class income. So they don't pay business taxes etc.

So yeah, I'm comfortable stating that most of those writing or commenting here are direct beneficiaries of government, in addition to the benefits of common defense, infrastructure, legal systems and so on we all share.
@31: Nice job of selecting part of her post and then attacking her for something she didn't say.

Her post: "I thought the conversation was unnecessarily and unfortunately divisive..."

Your cynical and calculated rephrasing: "What in particular did you not not think was necessary?"

She clearly said the divisivness was unnecesarry, not the process. But you needed an excuse to go off on a baseless rant. Nice job.
@37 Thank you! She's saying *nothing*! Or rather, she's blaming Sawant for business owners - like her and her husband - getting pissed off. "There was progressive versus progressive." Bullshit. There were low income workers with next to no establishment support versus a few greedy, cheap local business leaders, backed by national corporations, who didn't want to pay their workers what their labor is worth. They were overrepresented at the minimum wage committee and they received major concessions. So what the fuck are they talking about? What the hell is Alison Holcomb talking about? They tried to run a referendum about it and they had to lie to people to get enough of them to sign - and it still wasn't enough.

Alison Holcomb with her candidate-talk isn't saying anything specific, because if she said what she really wanted to do, she wouldn't get elected in that district. Kshama Sawant said she'd raise the minumum wage to $15 - which we kinda did, sort of, though we had to throw Alison Holcomb and her husband a few bags of bones - which is specific, and she got elected, pushing out the most senior council member, who had his own polished candidate-talk. Let's replace the fresh, straight-talking politician who stands for progressive values with one who sounds like every other dumbass who rolls down the pike to City Hall, Olympia, and Washington, D.C. Her comments here tell me all I need to know.
@45 The divisiveness is (still) coming from people like her and her husband! She "supports the $15 minimum wage", which is why she's running against the person who pushed it! Bullshit! This is political payback from the business class who resent having to pay their overworked, undercompensated laborers something closer to a living wage. She's making a mess (still), crying like a little baby, and blaming Sawant for it. Fuck her.
How come bus riders cant be troubled to pay an extra 50 cents?

Whats the real agenda?
@44: So....evidence? I mean, I already know how you feel, but I was pretty clearly asking for evidence.

For example, this is evidence right here:…

See, roughly 47% of households (not people) do not pay federal income tax. But those people still pay sales tax, payroll tax, state tax, local tax, and the taxes that are taken out for Medicare and Social Security.

The majority of those households who do not pay taxes are people on Social Security, and many of the rest do not because of tax cuts put in place by CONSERVATIVES.

But honestly, I do not know why I bother. You have already decided that half the country are just welfare collectors, and you alone are paying for the entire country. But you really should try to become educated.
@49 - he's just upset that we keep him from being able to truly enjoy his Italian villa.
@33: "Want to work at a bar that means you must go home at 3 in the morning? Buy a damn car."

@44: "They don't own businesses, preferring to pretend that burger flipping 'deserves' a middle class income."

So... you think that if someone works in a service industry job, they should buy a car. But you also think that if someone works in a service industry job, they don't deserve to be paid a decent wage.

What the fuck are they supposed to pay for the car with? Magic beans?
@44: You've referred to the President as "Herr Obama" several times now. I'm a little curious as to why that is exactly. Are you German in heritage? Do you speak German? Do we all speak German here? Is Mr. Obama German? (You realize that "Herr" is just German for "Mister", right?)
What are you trying to say, Lassie?
Just on the off hand chance you're still looking at this thread, Ms. Holcomb, please don't run against one of the two best voices for working class seattlites currently on the council.
I think you would be a great addition to the council.
I value the work you've accomplished.
I also value the work that Ms. Sawant has accomplished, and the coalitions she built to accomplish those goals.
Don't be a divisive force in Seattle politics. Don't throw away all your political capital on a quixotic quest to destroy what has been accomplished.
There are good targets for you on the council. Run at large against the horrible, vacuous and unaccomplished Sally Clark.
Move to the 5th and run. It's wide open. You would probably be a shoe-in. If you were running in the 5th I would vote for you. Heck, I might even doorbell for you.
But if you run in the 3rd, I will do everything I can to assure your defeat.
@37 Hit the nail on the head in re: to Ms. Holcomb's (@29) vague, eloquent, politician-speak.

In re: to Ms. Holcomb's considering running against Councilwoman Sawant, I agree wholeheartedly with @53. Ms. Holcomb, you do wonderful work for the people of this state that I and many others respect and are very grateful for. Running against Councilwoman Sawant seems counterproductive in, ironically, the way that you feel the $15 minimum wage discussion became. I don't see Councilwoman Sawant's rallying working class people to place pressure on the City Council and the Mayor to take action that can improve workers' lives as counterproductive. Local businesses had a say, and they received many concessions. Such is politics. If you are considering being a candidate for public office one day, hopefully you understand that -- which I believe you do. You may just be having trouble accepting it.

In closing, I'm not a hardcore Sawant supporter. I recognize that she has shortcomings as a politician and probably even as a person. Abrasive personalities and tough rhetoric might hurt lawmakers' and stakeholders' feelings. This voter prefers clear stances, action, and results. Ms. Sawant has given us all of those. Hopefully you will one day as well.

Yes Holcomb should heed the voice of an ironic hipster, someone with the judgment to use Pol Pot as a screen name.
Oops misread. Thanks for the catch!

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