News Nov 14, 2022 at 11:12 am

Though the Chamber Threw Tantrums for Years, Progressives Are Still Willing to Work With Them

Big business finally comes to the table. Cristina Spanò



There must be a way to work in the phrase “temper tantrum” a few more times - maybe if you link to your twitter or something, baby!


It is kind of funny reading the recap of the 2018 head tax debate from someone who was probably in high school at the time. The reason the original head tax failed is because people saw it for what is was, a blatant money grab by the council brought on by Sawant's campaign to single out and punish Amazon. The chamber didn't participate in the meetings back then because it was a foregone conclusion what the outcome would be when the committe was put together. When the head tax eventually passed there wasn't even a spending plan for it. It was just give us the money and we'll figure it out later. Voters rightly called bullshit on that and no matter how many times the council wants to insist it was "right wing media" or whatever the fact remains it as a poorly executed scheme that blew up in their face.

I honestly don't know why they need another iteration of this committee. There are limited avenues for the city to raise "progressive" revenue and everyone knows what they are. The city of course is hoping the supremes overturn the ruling on income as property when they hear arguments on the capital gains case early next year and they may get their wish. If that does indeed come to pass I'm 100% positive there will be a state income tax in 2024 along with a city income tax on top of it.


@2 The head tax exposed the economic illiteracy of the city council with their inability to differentiate between revenue and profit.

Lots of low margin businesses, like Uwajimaya have high revenue and also have high expenses, so low profits. These local businesses would have been totally screwed by the head tax. Meanwhile Amazon would have been able to absorb the costs for the year or two it took to move.

They passed a law targeting a big-bad-multi-national company that would have had minimal effect on that company but would have driven dozens of locally owned businesses to the brink!

Yay Progressives!

Meanwhile after tens of thousands of Seattleites signed a petition to put a repeal of this idiotic reform on the ballot Gonzalez and Herbold had the fucking gall to claim that the thousands of Seattle citizens who signed that petition were simply duped by nefarious “right wing forces.”

That was my Fuck You Moment.

And I’m sure I’m not the only one.


@3 great context. And now we get Han Han and the rest of The Stranger crew creating revisionist history and pretending it was a great piece of legislation and boo on business for not just opening their coffers. Sad.


@2, @3: The process was rigged to eliminate any meaningful public input, yes, but some businesspersons did their civic duty amyway. Their reward was a “temper tantrum” thrown by the Council Members defending this regressively flat tax:

‘Provoked by a comment by Spady that “any taxes that causes Safeway to lose jobs is a bad one,” Sawant responded with a prepared talking point that Safeway is owned by Albertson’s, which has $59 billion in annual revenues. This time the response came from the audience instead of Spady, when several people retorted that revenues are not profits. Sawant simply responded, “It’s not a struggling business,” to which the audience shouted back that it is. At the end of the next panel session, Sawant returned to the topic, reading another prepared talking point that Albertson’s is on Forbes’ “top companies” list, so it couldn’t possibly be struggling. Then she left the meeting.’



Why not first begin by seeing where the City can cut spending or reduce costs.... That is what most businesses do when recessions hits or business drops. Why is this such a daunting task for the city counsel.

Do this before asking for new or additional taxes and the city counsel, might, just might gain some creditability.

It would also be advisable at this point to quit putting more and more onerous costs on to the backs of business. The city counsel is asking business to pay more taxes, provide more benefits and support more and more people who are unable or unwilling to work. Its a bit like making bricks without straw if you follow.

We are facing more high tech layoffs, more small businesses are closing, labor costs are sky rocketing due to government meddling which causes more and more costs to accrue. Coupled with what is essentially a lawless environment due to defunding and humiliating the police force has left this city a wasteland for small business.

Finally, the city counsel needs to quit treating businesses (large and small alike) as enemies of the state. The business community is part of the community contributing not only taxes, but charitable giving and incidentally provide jobs for the 100's of thousand who call or used to call Seattle their home... before this counsel blew into town with their hate mongering and anti capitalist sentiments.


Some large businesses ARE enemies of the city. Take one for example; famous for breaking OSHA laws, vindictive managers, ripping off driver contractors, stealing data and product design from vendors, and pissing away profits on penile toys (“you … employees paid for it”): Amazon. They shoved 70,000 workers into the city without building one stick of housing or infrastructure. Rents skyrocketed and thousands of people became homeless or suddenly had to commute for hours to afford a place to live.
Damn right Amazon can pay taxes to the city!!! I cannot point to ONE thing Amazon has improved for my experience of my city. $100/entree dinners don’t cut it. Amazon is a leech here.

Every asshole techie who moves here, when homelessness is a well publicized crisis, is nothing but a selfish carpet bagger. They are the problem! Too many fucking arrivistes, and now they expect their childcare for free too? If business think that would help their employees, let them institute it themselves! It’s not a new or radical idea.

Bellevue is sure going to get a real taste of what is exactly Colonization 2.0. Companies are eager to disrupt their employees’ lives by moving (back) there to spite Seattle. Good riddance.

The main reason voters rejected state income tax (which is deductible dufuses) is that we voted NO to public money subsidizing sports billionaires’ stadiums and the pathetic dick-centric legislature went ahead with stadiums anyway. Nobody trusts those dicks to keep the $200,000 baseline they promised.

Thwart the will of the people at your own risk.


@7: Under the EHT, ~25% of the jobs taxed would have been at Amazon; the overwhelming majority would have been at hundreds of other companies, including my job at that time. Had my employer moved to the Eastside, I would have had an insanely longer commute, possibly even needing to buy a car. (I commuted within Seattle, via Link, Metro, or my bike.)

CM Sawant skillfully used resentments such as yours to implement a policy which, as noted @3, would have harmed Amazon very little at all, but hurt a lot of other persons (like me) for no reason. It’s a great example of how her “leadership” pits persons and groups against each other, for the good of none.

When the citizens of Seattle stood up against Sawant’s demagoguery, and provided the 40k+ signatures to repeal the EHT, which allowed then-Mayor Durkan to repeal the tax, it was a great victory for ordinary working people. Too bad the Stranger and City Council still refuse to see it that way.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.