Business Leaders Launch Drive For a Head Tax Repeal

Comments

1

Hooray!

2

Hooray, here's a link to Crosscut story: https://crosscut.com/2018/05/opponents-swiftly-raise-300k-overturn-business-tax. They raised $300,000 in a day, enough to organize and get those signature gatherers on the streets. They could easily get all the signatures they need quickly in North Seattle, alone. The "silent majority" slowly fed up and now seething will set things straight and get rid of this 10 person "compromise." Time for the taxpayers to step up, and they are, having supported a predatory, drug addict criminal class for too long...

3

Great news! I’m looking forward to an actual civic debate on this policy. Hopefully we can talk about how to continue implementing the two sets of recommendations to end homelessness, and drown out any more jejune demonizing of Amazon.

4

The predatory class is the richest 1% in the world of which Bezos is one.

They have robbed and killed their way by getting others to do it. They are responsible for the police state we have today and the lunatic Trump regime etc. The countless black sites that torture and disappear human beings. The forever wars and continuation of poverty.
The fact that more people are imprisoned in the so called land of the free that the ultimate count is unknown. They own the MSM which will not stop demonizing ordinary people.

5

Thank goodness. Sign me up as an unpaid signature gatherer. The head tax sends the message to the rest of the nation:
A. We don't want your jobs.
B. We do want your chronic transient population.

I think the City Hall establishment has no idea of the grassroots backlash against this measure. I was riding home on the bus one day and I overheard two construction workers loudly expressing their displeasure with the head tax. The one guy apparently used to work drilling oil wells somewhere like North Dakota until the work dried up. "I know what it's like for an industry to die out. It's not pretty."

Sure, that's hyperbolic. But just because we're not killing the golden goose doesn't mean we're not hurting it.

6

It will win by a landslide!

7

@4, you must of found an early 'Happy Hour'.

8

@4: Thank you for demonstrating why this repeal should easily pass. You gave yourself a chance to defend the head tax and instead babbled nonsense. You’ve effectively admitted the tax is indefensible.

9

Tell you what, there's a whole generation of Seattle political leaders who are going to be tainted by their votes for the head tax the way U.S. senators were tarred by their votes for the Iraq War. Not just the five councilmembers who supported the $500 tax but the four councilmembers who acceded to the $275 compromise, and Durkan too who helped engineer the King Solomon deal.

Jenny Durkan. Just like Hillary Clinton and the Iraq War. Of course, I always saw Durkan as our Hillary Clinton, an ambitious technocrat with not much of an ideological north star. (And I say this as someone who voted for both Durkan and Hillary.)

Tell you who I'm really disappointed in, though. Rob Johnson. Rob's a sharp guy. If anyone knew better, it was he.

10

@9: I sincerely hope the Council Members who voted to tax our jobs to give more money to their failed policies do indeed face consequences for it. I just don’t think the Iraq War vote, terrible though it was, had much lasting effect, at least here. We have the same two senators now that we had then, and one voted for it, one against.

11

Free market zealots will say anything to not pay taxes. This is the opportunity for progressives to show the need for a state income tax with concurrent repeal of most of the sales.and B&O taxes.

12

It’s going to be hilarious when the Head Tax is repealed and The Stranger has to realize that all of Seattle doesn’t hate Amazon like The Stranger and Sawant hate Amazon.

13

Cool, let's talk about a shift to a progressive state-wide income tax. Good news for eastern WA, high income lefties will subsidize you even more than today.

14

“Cool, let's talk about a shift to a progressive state-wide income tax.”

Cool, we’re actually talking about actual Seattle voters debating whether this “head tax” is actually worth it or not. This has nothing to do with Eastern Washington or an income tax. Please do try to keep up.

15

They now need to replace some of these city council members and put some in place who will at least tell us where our money is going.

Taxes after taxes; the roads in North Seattle are not getting better.

Let's talk about banning pan handling. These kids earn 500$ a day easy. How are you going to convince them to move in to some housing without some kind of cash payout monthly? That's a problem because I don't want that to become a reality where we pay panhandlers to get off our streets.

16

All these commenters, acting like their 20mil+ empires are about to go under because of a paltry 235 per employee tax. Look up how much these angry CEO's make and how many seconds of their salary it would take for them to budget this entirely reasonable cost of business.

But that's right, the Overton window has shifted so insanely to the right these days

17

This is very GOOD NEWS!

Finally, we'll put the question fair and square to the citizens of this city.

The latest poll shows the majority of the city does not support a head tax!

Now...I pray this liberal, irresponsible leftist red tide is turning and the average citizen of this city has had enough and will now send a clear message to both the city council (left wing brigade) and the new mayor (who seems to rely on popularity polls to make decisions) that this is enough!

18

Spend the taxes they already have wisely, pass an audit, show some progress, then come and ask for more. I'll willingly pay more taxes towards something that is proven effective.

19

Opponents of the tax seem a little overly confident here.
By election time the anti-tax fervor will have died down, businesses will not, in fact, be fleeing Seattle. No jobs will evaporate.
Turnout will presumably be fairly high, favoring progressives.
Saul Spady may come to regret his association with this effort. His success has been predicated on a deep reservoir of civic good-will towards his enterprises but there are a lot of places to buy a shitty burger and greasy fries.

20

kallipugos @19, I think you're underestimating the sophistication of Seattle voters when it comes to good governance and unintended consequences. I think Seattle voters are smart enough to realize that just because we're not seeing an overnight mass exodus of businesses doesn't make this measure good policy.

I'd like to think folks are finally waking up to the notion that our political destiny is more than just a binary choice between:
A. Brain-dead right-wing Trumpism that gives a bad name to capitalism.
B. Brain-dead left-wing Sawantism that gives a bad name to socialism.

That's why you see someone like Seattle Times business columnist Jon Talton, someone who's absolutely loathed by the lesser-Seattle, low-tax, laissez-faire crowd, making the most compelling case against the head tax:
https://www.seattletimes.com/business/economy/morning-after-on-the-jobs-tax-a-fast-or-slow-reckoning/

21

of course they want to repeal it - why on earth would a private business be responsible for bums?

22
  1. you mean there's more to this great city than a five block square on Capitol Hill? And that people that live outside that square, are, real people, with intelligence and emotions and tastes and failings and aspirations, and are proud Seattleites, as well?,,,,Why, Yes They Are! And they vote, as we shall all soon see,,,,
23

@4. who did Bezos rob and kill, specifically?

24

A positive result of this effort, beyond getting it on the ballot, is that we have reached a tipping point. And those who are now upset about this can and will be tapped to purge the council. Heck, I’d even vote for a Republican though the race is non-partisan, just to see a major disruption in our sick Seattle government process.

25

@24, A council concentric city government has run its course, again, and now we need a Mayor, Executive based city government again, like the Royer, Rice, Nickels eras. Schell, McGinn, Murray types allow the council to get too much power, and we see what nonsense they propose and pass when that happens...

26

Repeal this halfassed measure and replace it with something that earns $75 million annually as intended, or with something that isn't a compromise. You want to build affordable housing in Seattle, act like it. Build to the degree needed to fix the problem. Business will come around once it turns out people with affordable housing are far more capable of being customers who spend money on goods and services other than rent.

27

@9 rob may be a nice guy but he helped flush a lot of money down the toilet on Pronto. Hes not that savvy regarding business and economics.

28

23 Do your own research. Can you prove me wrong?

29

7 and 8 Don’t deal with the message right?

30

@28: "Do your own research."

That is in fact your job, to do the research necessary to support your claims. Interesting how your constant complaints about the plight of the poor now alternate with your demands that other persons should do your work for you. I wonder if those two statements are somehow connected?

"Can you prove me wrong?"

You know, "I got nuthin'" is easier to type. And more honest.

31

@15 $500 a day "easily" ... Haha! I thought you were being sarcastic at first but then I read the rest of your comment and saw that you're just delusional.

Okay, $500 a day.. and they "work" what, an eight hour day? That's $62.50 an hour - or more than a dollar a minute. Next time you see a pan handler why don't you watch for ten minutes and see if they make even one dollar total.

32

@20 You do realize that sophisticated Seattle voters elected our present city council, right? You are correct, they do recognize good governance. They also recognize when a local oligarch is trying to strong arm them.

33

@19 Thank you. I believe Seattle has enough common sense to reject the nonsense of a pampered, hamburger heir. They do have the dough to collect signatures, but this isn't a statewide - or even a countywide initiative.

34

@16 "All these commenters, acting like their 20mil+ empires are about to go under because of a paltry 235 per employee tax."

Math isn't the strong side of too many people. Sure, for Amazon it would be small pickings. For many other businesses, not so much. It doesn't take much to gross 20 million a year. The emphasis is on to "gross". A sizeable grocery store will get their fairly quickly. That says nothing about how profitable that businesses is. In that industry and others, margins are slim. As the minimum wage increase plus the various other rules and regulations put on businesses further drive the need to increases prices to offset the expenses, that 20 million threshold is easily reached.
Of course, this is all beside the point. The key problem is in ineptitude of Seattle governance. They have managed to increase their payroll by 54% between 2011 and 2017, adding more than 6000 employees to it. Salaries went thru roof putting on tremendous stress on the pension system. The same pension system that had been completely mismanaged and had one of the worst returns in the nation. This government brought you 12 million a mile bike lanes, a 1 Billion transportation levy that was oversold and won't deliver half the projects. And we are to believe that those wannabe socialist will do better this time and solve the homeless problem? I don't think so. However, the problem are not the council members but the voters that put them it. I suggest that the folks that support this nonsense put up a sign in their front yard so that people that still have the motivation to get out of bed now where to dump the thrash and the needles that is ubiquitous in this once great city.

35

Hey, this is James Maiocco, one the filers of the NoTaxOnJobs petition. Interested in learning more - go to www.notaxonjobs.com. Note a correction above - we intended to meet with volunteers on Friday at Fremont Brewing (one of my local watering holes). Sara Nelson has in no way participated in our efforts. The Strangers commentary on that topic is off the mark. See my twitter feed @jamesmaiocco for initial shout out to volunteers. Earlier in the week we had a similar meeting at another pub with more volunteers and no one noticed. Our goal is have these conversations in pubs and coffee shops where neighbors can actually have a healthy discussion. My neighbors are the ones who motivated me to finally get off my arse and do something. That is the only good outcome from recent events - folks are coming in from all sides to repeal this ill-conceived headcount tax that stifles job growth.

36

Things have reached a boiling point in regards to the homeless problem. No more coddling, no more looking the other way. No more throwing our good money after bad. When you have a pile of manure, no amount of money put on it will ease the stench. If we were to agree to open our wallets for even more revenue to put on the problem that never gets better, then we want something in exchange. We can start with no more squatter tents on the sidewalks.

37

@36 Wonderful idea! That will definitely work. Say, I've got an idea, why don't we all go tell the homeless people to stop being homeless? It's foolproof.

38

It's not a revenue problem, it's a SPENDING problem. The city council has proven it has no clue how to deal with a problem it's allowed to get out of control.

Had enough?
https://www.facebook.com/No-Seattle-Head-Tax-394163997733604/

39

@38

yes it is a revenue problem. Washington state has next to no tax revenue compared to over 40 other states in the union. Individual-based taxes (e.g. sales tax, res. property tax, vehicle tax) comprise a majority of the state revenue. Most other states with similar populations have stronger business/corporate taxes and SOME kind of state income tax.

40

36/inquiastador : We can start with no more squatter tents on the sidewalks.

How can you say that? That's not very compassionate of you. People who have no home have to live somewhere. We should accept these tents as a fact of daily life. Seattle should declare itself a sanctuary city for homeless Americans everywhere: "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to camp out on sidewalks without being hassled, The wretched refuse of your teeming cities. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

41

From KUOW:

To recap: The city of Seattle overspent its budget on homelessness before the City Council voted on the head tax. Unless something changes, most of the money raised by the head tax will cover previous spending commitments — not new spending.

It's an easy article to find, it's called "What the Seattle City Council learned just two weeks before the head tax vote."

42

@35 thank you for setting this in motion. I will support the repeal however I can.
@36 @40 i have zero compassion or empathy for gypsy dope fiend bums not from around here. i call for "stomping out homelessness," where you stomp through their urban campsite & throw their crap in the sound.
@33 that hamburger heir has provided good paying JOBS for UW STUDENTS for decades. you're either not from around here or have your head up your ass.
@16 let me reiterate: $20mil gross AINT SHIT. that's ONE commercial banking deal, or uncle ike's capitol hill annual revenue (weird, he's exempt). go take an elementary economics class bub before you spew more of your ignorant opinion vomit all over the comment board

43

I don't support the head tax -- it's just not good policy. I do support a progressive income-tax. That's not what this is. I love living in one of the most liberal cities in the country, but this was a big mistake.

44

During my time in Seattle I have never seen a greater disconnect between the council and the temperature of the city. People are fed up with the zombie apocolapse created by the lack of political will to shut it down. Regardless of your opinion on Amazon, a tax on job with no accountability for how the money is spent is bad public policy.

45

@40: Oh please, not the 'compassion' card again. Allowing intolerable, unhealthy, and dangerous conditions to fester is far from compassionate and doesn't help the homeless.

@35: Can this make the November election?

46

This head tax phenomenon was a long-time coming, partly because people are so frustrated by a gigantic business like Amazon building up the city so much many can't afford to live here any more, so the situation is complex. Taxing big business might include some exceptions, but discouraging rampant out-of-control growth, and that includes ravenous tech companies looking to expand and further damage Seattle, needs a solution. And Besos (not to be confused with "kisses" in espanol) should be held accountable for paying more than he has for leaving his monster footprint on the area making it less affordable to live here and impossible to own a house. Although clearly with his big fucking balls downtown he's not going anywhere completely! I think it's unconscionable for him to build his empire here without any vision ahead as to how it impacts his city until it's almost too late. And that's why you're seeing this fight. I think the richest companies can afford it and give back to the community that helped build them. I support the tax!

47

This head tax phenomenon was a long-time coming, partly because people are so frustrated by a gigantic business like Amazon building up the city so much many can't afford to live here any more, so the situation is complex. Taxing big business might include some exceptions, but discouraging rampant out-of-control growth, and that includes ravenous tech companies looking to expand and further damage Seattle, needs a solution. And Besos (not to be confused with "kisses" in espanol) should be held accountable for paying more than he has for leaving his monster footprint on the area making it less affordable to live here and impossible to own a house. Clearly, his big fucking balls downtown, so he's not going anywhere completely! I think it's unconscionable for him to build his empire here without any vision ahead as to how it impacts this city until it's almost too late. And that's why you're seeing this fight. I think the richest companies can afford it and give back to the community that helped build them. I support the tax!

48

@47: This is not an anti-Amazon tax designed to make you smug in validating your misguided provincial grievances. It also affects Apple, Google, Disney, HBO and any large business that has employees in the city.

49

Most commenters here are so focused on jobs jobs jobs- but when a city is so rapidly adding jobs it needs housing! The U.S. does this so poorly, there are almost no examples of cities responding well to job growth. Around the world however, there are countless examples, and they almost all share one commonality: strong public investment in housing. The private sector simply won't create supply that is adequate for low and middle income families and individuals. But across the country we sit around scratching our heads as if other cities in other parts of the world haven't figured this out. It's the same EXACT scenario with healthcare. A for-profit system, or rather relying only on a for-profit system simply won't provide for low and middle income families. Profits increase, costs soar, personal debt accrues and the vicious cycle continues. For-profit housing and healthcare leave people displaced and in debt.