Comments

2
Agreed something should be done, and yet everything proposed ignores the HUGE culpability of the wealthy in creating and maintaining the homelessness crisis. If you amass wealth, you contribute to homelessness, simple as that. We need to start taxing the wealthy back to 90%. You knows those good old moral days of the 50's the wing-nuts always whine about? Those were the days when the rich WERE taxed at 90%, which was designed to prevent the massive accumulation of wealth at the top that triggered the great depression the first time.

We need this type of action pointed at the wealthy pockets.

Cue the morons who will rush in to defend the rich people who feed them their shit sandwiches.
3
Oh look, ANOTHER rich person conveniently supporting ANOTHER regressive tax for Washington instead of A FUCKING INCOME TAX! What a shocker. 1%ers like Dan Price pay only 2.4% of their family income in state taxes, while people in the bottom quintile pay more than 16%. And that's why you have so many fucking homeless people, you FUCKING MORONS. Your poorest citizens are outrageously over taxed and they have no savings. Every fucking TAX you propose that isn't TAXING DAN PRICE'S FUCKING INCOME is BULLSHIT. You're a bunch of faux-gressive assholes and you need to be storming your state capital demanding real action instead of LITERALLY PASSING EVEN MORE REGRESSIVE TAXATION, because honestly WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU ASSHOLES?*

*Yes, I used a lot of capital letters be I AM YELLING AT YOU because YOU'RE FUCKING ASSHOLES WHO DESERVE TO BE YELLED AT! Fix your state!
4
@ 2 & 3,

Seattle already passed an income tax on the wealthy, and it's tied up in the courts, probably for years.

The EHT is one more tactic in a portfolio of solutions to attempt to address the crisis.
6
@3

Yeah. No. That 16% nonsense is simply impossible. To pay sales taxes or use taxes (permits, boat launch fees etc) like that a person would have to spend 2 or 3 times their annual income on taxable goods or services. You can't even leverage it out on the assumption taxes are passed on to them by business owners etc. Someone at poverty line simply would be spending nearly all they make on bare survival- usually non-taxed things like food etc. Things like liquor or cigarettes get hammered, as does gas. But those are choices. Don't buy at least the first two and you won't be taxed on them.

I itemize local and state taxes most years. I'm not rich, nor much for buying stuff outside my business so at most on a heavy personal consumption year I'll pay a few hundred dollars in all local and state taxes or use taxes. If I were doing poorly I'd pay less precisely because I have less to spend on luxuries that year. If a few hundred dollars is 16% of personal income the problem is one of income, not taxes.

That 16% number comes from playing games with numbers until the desired ideological point is made. Years ago I watched 10 minutes of something called Ghost Hunters or a similar name. These people took audio recordings, filtered and tweaked them until something vaguely resembling a voice came out and called that evidence of ghosts. The 16% tax number is the economic equivalent.

What's actually true is that the well off and particularly the wealthy in the US pay 80% of taxes though they make 70% or so of income. That's what the IRS reports, and they'd know. The wealthy create jobs either directly or more importantly through consumption of goods and services. On the flip side more than half of those filing a federal tax return either pay no income tax or through EITC are, astonishingly, paid cash for filing. It makes sense to tax the middle and upper classes. Taking taxes from where you have a chance of collecting them is practical. But it has nothing to do with fair or just. It is in fact the exact opposite.

Also, if you don't live here how we create revenue for our state is none of your business.
7
@2

You could have typed "Grrrrrr!" It would have made at keast a sort of sense and saved you time.
8
@1 - all very good questions we'll never get answers to. As a former social worker, I know how this sausage is made. You see, to the 'helping professions' intent is everything, results be damned. Just fudge the numbers on your next grant application with the same funding body, promise to do better next time, rinse + repeat.

Until we take away freedom of choice from certain segments of the population, essentially tossing out all civil rights, we cannot "fix" dysfunction like homelessness as there are ALWAYS people making the same bad choice over and over.
9
Finally, and then I have to make a living:

I have 100% addressed homelessness within my responsibilities, financial ethical and moral.. I bought a house and keep up the payments. It isn't in Seattle. I couldn't begin to justify the cost of living there even if I had the slightest desire to do so. It's in the suburbs both for reasons of cost and preference.

Seattle too expensive? Gee. Guess you'll have to ramp up income, reduce expenses or move. You don't have a right to live where you want to just because you really want to. Most of us learned this stuff back in grade school. Catch up, will you?
10
Then you’re a sucker, Dan, because regardless of how this proposal is funded it will do very little to address homelessness.

You mention that we have the third largest number of homeless people after New York and LA. That’s true. We also have the third largest stock of units after New York and LA. And did you know that we actually have a comparable or larger unsheltered population to New York, even though our city is a tenth of the size? And that we may even be spending as much as they are ($1 billion annually)? The difference is, we spend on things that don’t work, leave people on the street, have zero enforcement of the law, and have an embarrassingly horrible mental health system.

Since you’re a supporter of the proposal, maybe you can tell me - how much of this money will go toward homelessness (rather than to low income housing that may house some formerly homeless incidentally)? How much of a dent in the crisis is this projected to make? Will we match the inflow? How long to get 90% of folks off the street if we pay for this?
11
Everyone can be just like Dan Price, if you work hard, go to school, and follow the rules, because this is America.
12
There are a lot of people who make pretty good livings 'helping' the homeless.
People who stand to gain if this passes and million$ more get poured into 'helping' the homeless.
This may not help the homeless much but it sure will help those folks.
13
@11
Sarcasm or not, that's true. Mostly. I was raised financially poor but with middle class ideas and middle class people around me. My parents friends and our neighbors and my friiends parents were middle class to a bit better off than that. So I had both examples and contacts when considering what I wanted from life. I started a few steps ahead, and I'm grateful for it.

But many of my clients are well off immigrants who came here with littke or nothing. They asked nothing of this country but a chance for hard work and discipline to pay off, and both did. They were looking to achieve their goals more than for the reasons they couldn't.

If someone has truly tried for financial success with education and effort and discipline and still failed they might have a valid complaint about our system or racism or parental poverty blocking their ability to get ahead. The ones who light up, order another beer and whine about how the sysrem is keeping them down though are the ones we see and hear. The people getting what they want are too busy doing so to march in the streets or complain online about how unfair things are.

14
@6

The 16% figure came from ITEP. If you don't believe it you're welcome to find your own numbers. But that won't make your state not a regressive nightmare for poor people. And it won't make this bullshit hours tax anything more than an extension of the already immorally regressive payroll tax.

You need STATE ACTION on an income tax. And if you won't haul your ass out of Seattle to try and make that happen fine, but you shouldn't write sanctimonious op eds about how much you care about poor people. Perpetuating the nations worst state tax system and your bloated homeless population is the natural end result.

How are you going to keep going? Your schools are illegally underfunded and you haven't come up with a solution in the last 5 years. Are you just going to pass ANOTHER regressive tax for that purpose? Why is regressive taxation your go to?
15
Are people seriously arguing that applying a tax to businesses making over 500K a year is regressive? Maybe it's not as progressive as an income tax on the rich but come on...
16
@14

An advocacy group cooking the books. Ok.

Do the numbers for God's sake. Think for yourself. Use some critical thinking.

If I made 21,000 or less,12% (ITEP claims 12% of income paid in sales taxes) would be approximately $2500 since our rate is around 10% depending on where one lives.

So your hypothetical put upon low income household earning $21,000 must cover housing, transportation, food and all the other things. As well as a $25,000 consumer spending habit. Every year.

Do you see the problem? Even if you (rightly) assume businesses pass expenses on to consumers those numbers can't exist in the real world without inciting derisive laughter. I can and do pass the B&O taxes, employee costs, and all the other expenses of being in business on to clients as well as reasonable profits. In no world could I pass sales taxes on to those who aren't buying (if only because they have no money) taxable items.
18
LOL, Dan Price.

https://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog…

You can practically smell the halo varnish he applied before writing this op-ed.
19
Also:

”Gravity’s mission has always been to stand up for the little gal or guy.”

Barf. You’re a credit card processor, Dan. Don’t make vanilla capitalism out to be morally-driven.
20
@2 Would love to read your reasoning behind your statement that if you amass wealth (I assume you mean material wealth like money and things) you're contributing to homelessness. Is it a 1:1 thing? Is there a price or amount of wealth you attribute to each homeless person? Thanks.
21
Where to begin. How about a leadership team meeting at Gravity, where I walk in with a proposal:

ME: We need to raise our prices for clients to drive more revenue.

DAN: Why? What is the plan for the additional revenue?

ME: I'm not sure, but more money will help us do important things.

Now you tell me. Would Dan say "OK, let's roll!" or would he be inclined, perhaps, to say "I need to know how we're going to spend this money to justify it to our clients...will it improve their experience ad productivity? If I can't say yes to that, I can't raise the prices."

That's the stone in my craw and, frankly, it's a boulder. I'm done with new taxes unless the city council and mayor can get their act together to map out exactly how it will be spent. Because you know what? So far, they've done a shit job with our money and I no longer TRUST them to spend our money correctly. You give me a good plan, you have my support.

The other thing I'd like to remind Mr. Price -- and his employee who bikes past the tents every day -- is that those people have ALL been offered services, repeatedly. If they are living in a tent, surrounded by filth, it is highly likely they just don't want to live in a shelter or pay a pittance for a subsidized unit. They want to "live free, man."

In parting, I leave you this: https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/seattle…
22
A Head Tax is an incentive for companies to hire fewer people.
A Head Tax will hurt our economy far more than the $75 million in new revenue it collects, hurting everyone including the homeless.
This Tax is like taxing Hollywood TV and film or Yachts visiting Seattle, they just leave and don't pay.
It is the worst kind of tax to consider, no matter how noble the cause.
23
So if an employer is going to be taxed based on employee hours, and the employer is already operating on a slim profit margin as so many are, the next logical step is to cut employee hours. Look south to San Francisco, residents/voters of Seattle. The more you try to make life warm and fuzzy for "the homeless", the more entrenched the homeless industry becomes. Throw in some free needles and a comfy place to shoot up and you have a real party.

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