Guest Editorial: Tax Amazon, Fund Affordable Housing

Comments

1
No mention of Amazon donating space for Mary’s Place...?
2
750 homes a year @ 3 folks per home = 53 years to work thru the current crop of homeless.

Truly, the nation will be inspired.........
3
A tax on corporations in Seattle will kick the door open for building a real sanctuary city in Seattle! This article is so inspiring.
Whether it's building a safe 99 viaduct, funding schools, building affordable housing, or meaningfully expanding desperately needed mass transit there's always the excuse that there's no money. But with the Trump tax cuts, we know that money is sitting there.
4
Kshama Sawant doesn't care about my job as a working person. She and her mass movement would prefer I work in the suburbs, burning fossil fuels to get there instead of working in a dense urban environment in a carbon-lite way by walking, biking, and busing everywhere.

There's nothing wrong with more taxes, but they should be borne on richer people like me, not on employers.
5
Gal's got her head in the game--eye on the ball.
6
More Taxes! Hooray!
7
Have you ever seen a socialist stand up and fight for a regressive tax before? If you've read this you have. The tax being advocated for here is a payroll tax. The (Orwellian) Progressive Revenue Task Force calls it progressive because businesses pay it. But businesses pay sales taxes too -- they are the ones who deposit the cash with the government, not customers. Google "are payroll taxes regressive" and see what the good (left-of-center) folks at the Brookings/Urban Tax Policy Center have to say about it.
8
I was in the hospital last week and one of the nurses asked if I'd "had a movement" that day. I literally LOL'd and thought about Comrade Sawant.
9
Go fuck yourself, sawant. Using the Pulse Orlando memorial as a platform to tout your 'affordable housing" platform was beyond disgusting.
10
"Last fall, housing and homelessness activists packed Seattle City Council chambers and demanded action..."

As they do every time. You pack City Hall with your own cheerleaders which does not represent a true cross-section of Seattle. Is there a homeless issue in Seattle? Absolutely. Remember Barbara Poppe - the homeless expert hired by The City? Barbara Poppe - whose salient and pragmatic advice you have all but ignored. Barbara Poppe - who made several recommendations to mirror successful programs in Denver and Houston at a reasonable cost to the taxpayer. Why has this not been implemented? Why are we still supporting the homeless industrial complex?

Why have SHARE/WHEEL and LIHI not had any success in moving people from the street to permanent housing? Why will they not open their books for us taxpayers to audit (search for "Anatomy of a Swindle" at roominate for the complete expose'). Why are we still throwing more and more money at these unsuccessful programs? And yet here you are calling for more taxes.

It is time for Seattle to separate the truly homeless - those that want and seek help - from the rest of the felons, vagrants, and freeloaders who are trashing this once fine city. Stop putting all of the blame on Amazon; it is your misguided policies which are partly to blame for the increase in the homeless population. Your rants are becoming just noise. It is time for real leadership in Seattle.
11
Once again, it's really easy to spend other people's money. Instead of asking anyone, or better yet some faceless huge corporation, for more tax money to fight homelessness, why not make better use of the money we're already spending? Two experts hired by the city several years ago came to the same conclusion, we're spending enough money on homelessness, not just spending it where it will do the most good. Ms. Sawant is very quick to call anyone in the mayor's office or council that disagrees with her, a shill for business interests. The city is already spending something like $60 million a year, and the county another $100 or $200 million on this. If it was working, we could see the results. Concluding that all we need to do is spend three times as much will suddenly make all the difference in the world. Nope. Not logical.
12
"In Seattle and Washington State, a greater portion of the tax burden is piled onto the shoulders of poor and working-class people than in any other state in the country."

If this is true, shouldn't we be funding initiatives to help the poor flee this hell hole to more welcoming states? Which state piles the smallest portion of the tax burden onto the shoulders od poor and working-class people? And how do we start a program to use tax dollars to incentivize the poor to move to that utopian state?
13
Bullshit. SHARE/WHEEL is exploiting vulnerable and self-harming populations. Filling City Hall with paid SHARE/WHEEL encampment residents is not a mandate. Audited financial records are required by NGOs to receive taxpayer dollars. But Ms. Sawant continues to feed SHARE/WHEEL taxpayer dollars hand over fist. As long as SHARE/WHEEL is at the table, this supposedly "progressive" tax needs to be swirling in the toilet.
14
Does The Stranger have a picture of Sawant with her mouth closed?

Yes, Kshama, your support is diminishing in real time.
15
It's a movement.
16
How about we take Amazon out of the picture and lets talk about the tax. Amazon is an anomaly of a business.

Let's be clear. Sawant has been promoting a head tax and an income tax since the day she got elected. Long before anyone had any need or plan for the money. She doesn't believe in privately owned business. She does not support any business, not big or small. She never has so don't let her fool you. In her mind, all small business owners are also privileged fat cats.

Do we need this money? Ultimately it is going to be paid by consumers. It isn't going to touch the 1%. Bezos will still be the richest man in the world. It will just go towards making this city less affordable for those in the middle and those functioning near the bottom.

Anyone remember what sick pay, $15 wage and secure scheduling was going to get us? Are we there yet? Did we get what they promised?

SCC, if you have a serious plan to with this crisis, including police presence then I'm happy to pay this tax and more. But not until you have a serious plan besides just trying to grab more money.
17
Require the homed to share their homes with the homeless. Determine the size of a residence and distribute the homeless accordingly. The homeless would register with the city and the city would assign them to private residences, both houses and apartments; the more space you have the more roommates you get. The city could then pay a monthly stipend to the homeowner to cover maintenance and utilities.

The city could also make an ordinance making it illegal to deny some the use of your toilet should they knock on your door and ask. This would be helpful to the homeless who choose to remain homeless or of a footloose nature.
18
“Amazon scandalously received a $789 million windfall this year on old unpaid taxes just from Trump’s corporate tax cuts.”

Good corporate neighbor Amazon probably wouldn’t mind paying a 20% Windfall Tax. Or, say, 25%, and make some work-week dormitories (e.g.) for its poorly-paid yet plentiful staff. (Do they qualify for food stamps? How about subsidized ‘healthcare’?

Where’s our Single Payer Healthcare, like every OTHER industrialized nation (except -- the Wealthiest ... Hmmmm ) on the Planet has?

Where’s the Transaction Tax on Wall Street speculation*?

* Is it still called “speculation” when it’s market manipulation, like if Trump were to tank and then rebound the stock market? Obviously, mein Furor has way too much Integrity to ever DO such a despicable thing, but he prolly could, if he wanted to….
19
@17- STFU.
20
Stop already with the corporate bashing.

What gives Sawant the right to tax a corporation just because it is successful or its size. Her anti-business sentiment is brazen and frankly tiresome. It is successful businesses which make this city vibrant.

First, where is a plan to deal with the homeless problem.

Second, has it been properly vetted -- and not just by government apparatchiks.

Why not ask the business community for their input or for solutions. A successful business has many resources, skills and brains to apply to the problem

Third, adopt a market driven approach to solving the problem...not just throwing money at it.
21
Hey Kshama, you and the rest of the city council each gets a salary of $117K per year. Furthermore, thanks to Ed Murray, we've ballooned the size of our city government to over 13,000 employees, nearly half of whom make over $100k or more. Aren't they "right" by your definition? How about you start with putting a head tax on yourselves?
22
@19: I'm pretty sure Eliabun I was being facetious. He couldn't possibly be that nutty. Could he?
23
@19 & 22 Was I being facetious? Well, kinda sorta. I described what I call the "Dr. Zhivago" example (from the movie) of what can happen in such a situation with mass homelessness; being a bit hyperbolic ala George Orwell. But do consider this, homelessness is going to continue to rise and it can't be legislated out of existence. It is getting to the point that there is just not enough room in Seattle proper to house so many people be they homeless or low income. Some people will just have to move elsewhere in the area. This whole issue also ties into overpopulation as well; we will run out of resources sooner than you think.
24
Another point I failed to mention, Kshama Sawant once said that she thought that the homes in area on Capital Hill known as Millionaire's Row were too beautiful to be privately owned and that the city should own them and use them for shared housing. I think this gives a good indication of her intentions regarding low income housing.
25
Nowhere in Idiot Sawant's rhetoric will you find any mention of the hard and disturbing fact that the massive increase in homelessness that has only happened within the last 5-7 years has been driven by rampant and runaway opioid addiction. Over 50% of the homeless population is severely addicted to heroin. In a desperate way. Nobody is spending any time talking about creative and constructive carrot-and-stick approaches to get these people up and out of drug camps. Idiot Sawant, are you carrying the drug dealers' water or something? I can't think of another explanation. WAKE UP SEATTLE!!!!! SHE'S NOT THE ANSWER!
26
The morons who oppose Sawant are out of touch with ‘reality’ - its especially despicable to ‘shill’ for the rich and assert that the general public and society are the benefactors of their ‘brilliance’. Well that fxxckin BS is over. Its time to end this ‘Socialism for the wealthy’ and tax the ‘fxck’ out of them!!! CUT THE MILITARY BUDGET!!!! And ban money as political speech. Bezos, Gates and the rest of those crooks exploited technology developed on the public dime and now it’s time to take it back. There is no suck ‘fxcking’ thing as ‘public, private’ partnership ( just ask the flint michigan water district customers about that) . Get on board or get out of the way. Neoliberal capitalist BS is OVER!!!!
27
If you want affordable housing.... this will get it!

Amazon is already eyeing other cities for a "second" headquarters.

When Jeff Bezos decides that he has had enough with Seattle and its over taxation and socialism he will move Amazon & its employees to that city (who will probably give him huge tax breaks for the boom that will follow) and we will have PLENTY of low cost housing.

Much like Detroit does...

The local real estate will go into free-fall and any gains in home values, made during the past few years, will be wiped out instantly.

And all the Seattle city counsel has to do is to keep biting the hand that feeds them.

just sayin'
28
#26 - it is time to apply pragmatic principles to the homeless issue - not more and more taxes. SHARE/WHEEL and LIHI operate with zero accountability to the taxpayer - yet they pack City Hall with their people and bleat for more and more money. Why will Sawand & the rest of the City Council not follow the Barb Poppe Report and apply these principles to Seattle? Could it be that this threatens the livelihood of the 130+ "service providers" who are profiting - yes PROFITING - from the homeless issue? It is time to put a stop to the Homeless Industrial Complex and apply real solutions to the issue. Search for "Anatomy of a Swindle" at roominate for the complete expose' and read. After that tells us there is still a shortage of money.
29
@12: Sounds like you'd rather maintain the evilness in WA; you sick fuck!!! --- https://www.taxsanity.org & https://www.ctj.org . LET THEM EAT YOUR ASS INSTEAD OF CAKE!!