Here's the City Council's Proposed Employers Tax

Comments

1
The homeless "camp" just cleaned up had 8 people living in it. All were offered shelter. One of the men was interviewed by KUOW. All of them had had bad experiences in shelters he said, and that his rights were being violated.

The problem isn't a money one. Nor is it one of clompassion. It's a useless compassion though enabling people literally to take over sidewalks with tents and tables and carts. That does no good for the homeless person and it harms to taxpayers who want to do business or just have fun in Seattle.

But hey, Keep adding taxes and refusing to enforce reasonable laws on grounds of false compassion.. In a few years all you'll have downtown is massive corporations, wealthy tech workers and homeless camps.
2
@1:

I think I'm going to start calling you "Chicken Little"...
3
On the topic of homelessness, the first thing the City Council should do is investigate and report on why all of our current efforts have failed so badly, why our tax money we spent to end homelessness has instead exacerbated the very problem it was intended to solve.

Until the City Council can tell us why all of our previous spending has failed, they should not propose any new taxes or spending on homelessness. I hope Mayor Durkan vetoes this bill if it passes.
4
"why our tax money we spent to end homelessness has instead exacerbated the very problem it was intended to solve."
what an utterly stupid assertion. we spend pennies on homelessness here, compared to other major cities, and our homelessness problem is larger
5
We spend 1.2 Billion a year, according to The Puget Sound Business Report

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

compared to 2.3 Billion in NYC

https://nypost.com/2017/02/15/city-spend…

a city with seven times the homeless population

https://www.cheatsheet.com/culture/citie…

https://www.statista.com/chart/6949/the-…
6
@5 the comparison between those two articles is apples and oranges. The NYC number is just the city budget line-item for homeless services. The Puget Sound Business Report number is adding up all costs attributed to homelessness (sounds like it includes private nonprofit spending, and hospitals paying for EMS calls.) The Seattle city budget for homelessness is about $100 million.

If you did the same sort of analysis for NYC, you would get a much larger number.

But anyway, it's not a mystery why we have such a big problem. The median rent is rising, and the amount of homes is falling relative to the number of people here.
7
@4 We spent $195,588,532 on homeless services in King County in 2017. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-new…

There 2017 Point-inTime Count revealed 11,643 people experiencing homelessness in King County. http://allhomekc.org/wp-content/uploads/…

That works out to $16,798 per homeless person, per year. That's a lot of pennies.

Every consultant the city has retained--and taxpayers have paid for--has essentially concluded that we are throwing away money on programs that don't work, and could house our entire homeless population within existing expenditure levels. https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/09…

As a result, there are a lot of people that think what @3 is suggesting makes an awful lot of sense. What we've been doing hasn't been working. Anyone can see that.


8
So people with successful businesses will pay for the unsuccessful policies of politicians? Durkan’s own election proved that it is way cheaper bankroll a PAC than pay for expensive progress. It is about to hit the fan and the guys with the money just relearned how easy it is fix things the way the like.
9
@4, We spend more than all other U.S. cities other than NYC and LA. We are also third in per citizen spending and per homeless spending. Yet we rank near dead last in getting people out of homelessness.
10
Shouldn't we first figure out why 50 million a year hasn't even dented the problem before we go taxing for even more?
11
@6 your belief that this is about rising rent is nonsense. Do you seriously think that those living in tents were renting in Seattle at any time in the historical past? Of those parking their motor homes and vans? Have a conversation with a few and ask them how long they have been in Seattle and what attracted them to our city? Check out this news piece and some of the quotes from the newcomer in the tent: https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/seattle…

But don't let truth interrupt your false narrative.
12
I would like to see an honest study about how may of the homeless people here in Seattle are from here. Somehow that number never seems to get presented, and I suspect that a large fraction are not locals. I don't think that its terrible to ask whether Seattle has a responsibility to take in homeless people from all over the state/country - this is a national problem and needs a national solution.
13
@12 I would like to see an honest study about how may of the slog commenters here in Seattle are from here. Somehow that number never seems to get presented, and I suspect that a large fraction are not locals. Before I listen to dvs99, can I see your papers to justify your right to an opinion? That's what I thought..
14
13
You first.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re72di5p…

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That's what we thought......
15
How long do we house "the homeless" for?
Why "house" them?
If they can't work, get SSI.
If they don't qualify for a "Disability".
Then they shouldn't get "Housing".
If I sign up as homeless do I get a free place to stay?
Once you give a "homeless" person a house, then what?
16
@3: What a refreshing comment from you. Cultivate that clarity.
17
Yep, our city council is all but useless at solving problems. But, They are really good at blaming it on Seattles residents, business, landlords, homeowners, people with jobs, etc.
18
lol, tax a job provider to give more money to a mostly unemployable bunch of scofflaw vagrants? perfect.

simply enforce the laws, equally, and we will see a major improvement of the quality of life for normal, tax paying, hard working citizens. then, offer serious help to those who truly wish to be self sufficient one day (which is quite a stretch for someone that has been living in a tent shooting drugs for years)
19
Do the math, it doesn't add up! THEY ARE LYING!!

Article says 5 year revenue for this specific tax will give us over 2,000 low income housing units. TOPS it will be 930 homes, if the full $75 Million is collected, minus roughly 25%that will go to other things relating to homelessness.

I suspect it will offer less low income housing that 930. Probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 775-825 units, taking into account increase in land costs over the next 5 years.

What a fucking joke. Can't believe people are falling for this nonsense.
20
@16: You must have me confused with someone else. I've been writing clearly here for years.

You should try it yourself sometime.
21
Why do people refuse to understand the basic concept that housing the homeless saves money in the end - for taxpayers, for cities, for everyone involved? Look it up. The cities that have successfully ended homelessness (or come as close to possible to doing so) have housed the homeless. Period. Providing housing provides a chance for any and all other problems those who are homeless to be addressed, one by one. Some people in this country are not able to function as productive members of society - whether they are victims of mental and physical illnesses caused by serving our country in war, they are mentally ill, they are addicts, etc. Many people who are homeless need a place to live - so they can work on getting help in other areas - finding employment, getting health care (physical and mental), getting education, providing stability to their children (and having it themselves), etc.

We constantly refer to ourselves as the greatest nation on earth when we are no such thing, not even close. We allow people to live and die on the streets. We allow people to starve. We allow people to spent their lives incarcerated. We refuse to pay people living wages, provide affordable education, housing, health care, etc. We degrade, denigrate, violate, and vilify PEOPLE - treat them like garbage and allow them to be thrown away like trash. Nearly half of the people being treated this way are CHILDREN.

The ONLY measure of as society is how it treats its most vulnerable. Being poor is not a crime. How we treat the poor IS a crime. Want to end homelessness and never have to hear about it again? HOUSE THE HOMELESS. FEED THE HUNGRY. TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY WHO NEED TO BE TAKEN CARE OF - INSTEAD OF PROSTRATING OURSELVES ENDLESSLY TO THE WEALTHY, TO BILLION DOLLAR PROFITS, TO CORPORATIONS, TO THE WEALTHY, TO ANYONE AND EVERYONE DEEMED "WORTHY" - WORTHY OF ASSISTANCE, OF HELP, OF WHATEVER.

If you are an able bodied productive member of society who contributes positively to your community and the society at large, this should not be a difficult concept to understand and wholeheartedly support. Instead the same tired tropes are dragged out again and again about how no one deserves a free ride. Everyone in this country who is wealthy got a free ride in one way or another. Everyone in this country, the wealthiest country in the world, the so-called greatest nation on earth, deserves to have not just basic needs met, but to be cared for and brought into the fold of community and society by any and all means necessary.

I fully expect humanity will destroy itself and the earth will finally be free before this happens. And we believe we are the most intelligent beings on the planet. We are purposely destroying the planet and don't care about anything except money. Humanity deserves to end and end violently (which it will) because it is so sick, so depraved, so devoid of actual HUMANITY that it would rather destroy itself and end than do what needs to be done to take care of itself.
22
The 75% of the revenue going to actually building affordable housing is in the form of a soft resolution by the SCC. There is nothing in this proposal that actually requires that any of it be used for creating actual housing or the quality of that housing (garden sheds for everyone!). The Mayor's office is directed to come up with actual plans for how to spend the funds by December and even that will still be a soft commitment. The fact that the SCC is racing to pass the tax, before they even have an actual plan on what to spend it on is the dead giveaway that this money will largely be raided to provide more funds to throw down the black hole of waste that is the current homeless response. This is nothing more than a cheap give away to the current failed service providers who got themselves appointed to the sham of a taskforce and the SCC is throwing out a meaningless 75% figure just to try and distract from that point.
23
@11 && @12 There have been studies on this:

Here's a report from this paper:
https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2017/03…

But most of the people who believe that everyone is flocking to Seattle for our sweet, sweet free stuff (ignoring our shitty weather) dismisses every study because they don't match their beliefs.