A Millionaire's Tax in Seattle?

Comments

1
Teach the controversy!
2
Tax Yourselves, Fucking Moocher Scum...
3
The rich should be taxed for being alive.
4
Better not do it. You pass a millionaire's tax and you will force Seattle's most productive residents, like collectivism_sucks, to leave the city and take their massive wealth to another community. As soon as their lease expires.
5
While I strongly support an income tax and/or a tax on millionaires, a Seattle-only tax on millionaires would be stupid.

First, there are lots of local millionaires—even billionaires (like Bill Gates)—who don't live in Seattle, and wouldn't pay a penny of extra tax. Second, it would be easy for Seattle millionaires to avoid the tax by simply moving to Bellevue or any other suburb just outside the city limits. Mercer Island would become the Caymans of Seattle millionaires.

An income tax or tax on millionaires needs to be state-wide or don't bother.
6
@5: i agree, but a state-wide income tax isn't happening.
7
I would how New York City's income tax is progressive/regressive, and I wouldn't just tax high income earners..
8
No, what we need is a real estate tax on anything above a certain percentage of median home value. Something that discourages, or at least reinvests the money from, new millionaires from inflating the cost of housing in the neighborhood they move into.
9
@ 4 FTW.
10
@5 Why move? Just get their neighborhood declared as its own city.
11
East coast and Midwest municipalities have city, county and state taxes... but the everyday stuff is much more expensive here because of the hidden taxes/fees. Talk to any shop owner in Washington and get an earful.
12
Pretty sure state law says income is property and can be taxed no higher than property tax rates. (Might as well be the same thing as barring income taxes).



The poor and middle class in WA are overtaxed and won't vote for anything. The rich in WA are ridiculously undertaxed and won't vote for anything. Nothing changes until people understand the first sentence of this paragraph.
13
@2

Though I'm loathe to respond to trolls, I think this is important info to share:

The problem with Washington's tax structure is that the less money you make, the higher your effective tax rate is.

That is utter bullshit, of course, and anyone who's not a raving lunatic asshole would agree.
14
We can't tax the persecuted millionaires or they won't want to be rich anymore. They'll all become paupers and hobos! That'll show us.
15
@5, so why not implement it at the County level ?

Although I would also expect any "push" of millionaires to the peripheral suburbs to also be in conflict with the lib push into mass transit. Although I guess the maid will still have to find a bus out to the McMansion in the country.
16
I was very supportive of I-1098, even though it had some flaws. I hope that Seattle can come up with less regressive ways to tax itself.
17
Hey, I think I saw a reporter write about this once earlier this year....

http://horsesass.org/a-seattle-millionai…
....
But more importantly, there may never come another time when the Washington State Supreme Court is more predisposed toward revisiting the controversial constitutional question that has long threatened our state’s prosperity: Is income property?

That was the 5-4 ruling of the court in 1933 after voters overwhelmingly passed a graduated income tax initiative, and it has hampered our state government’s ability to fund our basic needs ever since. Even in its day it was a controversial ruling, based on scarce and tenuous precedent—precedent that has since been rejected by every other state and federal court in the land. Everywhere else in the United States of America the courts have determined that income is a transaction that is taxable as such. Only in Washington State do we cling to this arbitrarily contrary definition, backed by not a single word of our state constitution. Go ahead, read it. It’s not mentioned once.
18
@13



Yep, what you wrote is bullshit only the stupid or insane would believe. Surprised you admit it, actually.
19
Just do it
20
What is a millionaire? Is it also someone retired on a fixed income but is house poor with a house priced 700K and a portfolio of 300K. I'm not describing me, I'm describing a lot of the middle class.
21
@3: I'm happy you're alive. Now pay up!
22
@13 See #18 "raving lunatic asshole" indeed.

Raindrop household earnings not total assets.
23
It would only be a million to get it passed. Once in effect, City Council would have it to $100k in a year or two.
24
@23: 23 posts is longer than usual for the Slippery Slope to be deployed. congrats on your self-control.
25
@22: Thanks.

Curious - What then would stop employees from having their employers match a higher rate of employee stock plans and 401K withholdings from their paycheck plus opting for more stock grants (if provided) instead of a higher salary? It seems that at first thought that an employer would be more than happy to give out unvested stock grants to keep an executive employee from having a million or more direct compensation.

26
@18, Washington has the most regressive taxation in the country because taxes based on consumption rather than earnings consume a larger share of one's total income the less money they earn. This is like 5th grade math. Try to keep up.
27
Why not? Sure, *some* individuals might move to B'vue, or deploy monetary evasion... but you can't move Broadmoor. And if that means Boredmoor loses value and goes kaput, then we'll have a great place for all the homeless to live.
28
@ 26, it's generous to suppose SB has any math skills at all. He got where he is by paying little people to do that for him.
29
@25 The phrase household earnings seems to imply that more then just income would be used in the calculation. e.g. dividend earnings, cap gain earnings, stock grants, earnings from exercising stock options. That said I have no idea what options are being looked into at this point nothing has been proposed so there is no answer to your question.

There are upper limits on how much in total contributions can be placed in a 401(K) in a given year. If one's income is 1mil plus a year my guess is that limit is already being hit.
30
@27, If China can have Thames Town then certainly the billionaires could create a Broadmoor-ville right outside Kent.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/14…
31
*shrug* the poor are already getting pushed out of Seattle due to price increases, why not the rich too? We can even get all the rich people top leave and stop investing in high end apartments and condos, then we can all afford to live in the city again! Old favorites don't get torn down for condos! Rich people stay on the east side! Everybody wins!
32
@26
Only if you're consuming non food items. If you're that poor it seems to me a combination of economies and increasing your income would be in rder. You know, instead of whining about tax on your ipad and big screen tv.
33
@32 I thought it was just liberals who formed their world view based on hypothetical vaccuums with no bearing to reality. Becuase at this moment you're desribing life as no one knows - especially a family, which I thought you were the head of one.
34
1098 wouldn't have brought in a penny of tax money. The property tax exemption more than overcame the income tax. It was a dodge by the rich to pay less in taxes. This is why Bill Gates, Sr. supported it. His money is mostly in low taxed dividends, and he owns enough property 1098 would have saved him money.



Which is why 1098 wasn't sued off the ballot. As you point out, it will take amending the state constitution (not terribly hard in this state) to permit an income tax. 1098 would have given the rich more cake, and if the numbers were ever adjusted against them, they could have always sued the initiative to death later.
35
@32, Oh dear, apparently you need to be spoon-fed.

Do you understand the concept of a gradient? Some things -- like say, one’s annual income, for example -- can be described by a number on a continuous scale. This is different than a binary category -- like, say, "do you live at or below the poverty line?" -- where the answer is either "yes" or "no." In other words, a gradient can be broken down very crudely into two categories around a single value on the continuum, but the structure of the underlying data does not change; it has simply been categorized.

Are you following me so far? I realize this is tricky for you because you struggle with things that are neither black nor white but stick with me because I'm about to blow your mind!

Since income exists on a continuum, and people in the state of Washington are taxed on consumption and not income, the citizens of your fair state pay proportionally more in taxes the lower they fall on the scale, which means your state's regressive taxation negatively affects not just those who choose to be poor, but also people who live above the poverty line, in a manner that is inversely proportional to their income. Even people who earn a respectable wage -- which may very well include you -- pay relatively more in taxes than people who earn much more.

So now when you complain about moochers and wage theft, just remember the poors aren't stealing from you; they're pulling your weight.
36
Bonus question: 2 wage earners making the same income, one is single, the other has a family. Guess who (on average) pays a larger share of his salary in state taxes?
37
@32





I know you feel that it is immoral for poor people to buy anything other than food, but you do realize that everyone has to buy things that are not food, even poor people. And that these things are not always iPads and big screen TVs. Since you're a complete fucking idiot, I'll give some examples:





-Diapers


-Gasoline


-Soap


-Clothes





These are just a few of the non-food items that poor people buy. And despite your diseased worldview, it's not immoral for poor people to buy them. And because they are taxed at the same 9.5% that your friends are taxed at, they pay a higher percentage of their income for them.



38
Where ever our economy actually embraces the idiotic moralized idea that only wealthy people should buy consumer products we wind up with almost no economy at all. When you do that - combined with severe income inequality - you come up with DEBT to get people to buy things. Sound familiar?

Everybody ends up competing in a race to the bottom to market products to an ever diminishing demographic segment.

Which is what we've done. Rather than pay people living wages we substituted really goody paying union jobs with shit service sector jobs and all that money that used to go to tax paying citizens to buy shit goes to wealthiest interests who then offshore their holdings away from paying taxes.

In this economy companies are forced to sell things under (real) costs, or lobby the government to underwrite costs (see the oil industry and farm bills) or get bailouts, or pollute - or what ever the REAL cost is - is deferred to somebody else. They off shore things like labor costs and environmental damage to developing countries in order to make products ever cheaper for the poor schlubs who make shit wages - laying off more people in the process - in an ever increasing death spiral of economic suicide. And everybody else but the very rich end up in debt.

Great plan!

39
@36: The single person does as the family person can claim more dependents. That's the way it should be though. Procreation should have its benefits.
40
@4: kek
@37: rekt
@32: Basically just shouting "OBAMA PHONE" over and over.
41
Personally, I am against any tax that might force Seattleblues to give up his house in Italy.
42
@39 I specifically mentioned state, not federal. In Washington the family man is stuck with a larger tax bill due to consumption taxes. Washington turns that federal fairness on its head.
43
People save your key strokes basic math is but one item on the ever growing list of things Subhumanblues doesn't comprehend.
44
@37 et al



How simple do I need to make this for you....

Nope, I can't do it all at first grade vocabulary. You're going to have to figure it ut.



Add all the items you talk about for a single person and you get maybe three or four thousand in expenses, so three to four hundred in taxes. Put that against even just food stamps and your 'taxpayer' is in fact just a moocher.



A family at that income? Don't care. What business has someone who can't afford children having them anyway? In that case, like cigarette and booze or lottery tickets it's just a tax on stupidity.
45
@43

Maybe so, kiddo. But I know that marriage isn't the union of two guys or two women. I know that 'transgender' is a risible fiction. I know that government stealing from productive people to award bad decisions is stupid and counterproductive. I know that and a bit more about why leftist 'thinking' is the worldview of a petulant toddler.

But hey, kiddo, thanks for the concern.
46
@44: Are you even an adult? You do not seem to have any idea how taxation works, which makes me think you have never really had to pay any. Similar to how your complete lack of any knowledge regarding how health insurance works makes me pretty sure you have no family and own no business.
47
Why is the answer always higher taxes...

Tax the millionaire's, sure. The middle class won't see a dime of it.

Politicians pockets and bus lanes..
48
@44, So you're cool with people who are already better off than you paying proportionally less in taxes than you, because people who have less money than you shouldn't have money to spend on things that aren't food, or something. Okay.
49
@44: Wow, you think that people are "moocher[s]" if they get SNAP benefits. Did you know that for every dollar in those benefits we pay out, $1.73 goes back into the local economy? Nonpartisan researchers and the CBO consistently call it one of the best and most cost-effective ways to stimulate the economy in poverty-blighted areas.

You don't care about what's best; you just care about people getting stuff they haven't (strictly speaking) earned. To you, it doesn't matter whether it leaves YOU (and everyone else) better off if it also means that someone gets a free meal. That's quite possibly the most spiteful thing I've seen.