5 Takeaways From the City Council's Impending Head Tax Repeal

Comments

1

Your statement that “we have heard it before” about the state/region coming up with funding kind of makes the point that a lot of us have been saying. Seattle can’t spend its way out of being sucked into providing the services that the entire region needs. The taxpayers are starting to figure that out.

3

Common folks. Horseshit.

When common folks support you, you don't need a lot of money for paid signature gatherers. It is pretty clear the Seattle Times was making a full court press against this and wasn't going to quit.

The idea that 'fiscal conservatism' and the virtues of selfishness have come to Seattle are nonsense. Seattle does not want to hire a fuckton more cops, and it does not want to start punishing people in need into getting their lives together. The voters do not want to go down that shitty path.

This whole thing stinks.

4

I don’t think it is accurate to call Seattle’s approach to homelessness a “metrics-obsessed effort” and support it with a link to a Times article documenting that November 2017 marked “the first rebidding for the city’s spending on homelessness in more than a decade.”

Asking “hey how well is this working?” once every ten years is not metrics-obsessed.

6

My landlord raised my rent. Only thing left for me to do now is shit my pants, steal a gazillion bikes and do some smack. Damn you, Amazon.

7

Fuck this city. Officially ruined by Bezos and his brotherhood of Libertarian narcissists. Consistently stealing from the Commons to line their own pockets.

Durkan is shit, which we already knew. But O'Brien and Johnson too? Seriously, fuck these guys. Mosqueda and Sawant seem to be the only elected officials in Seattle with any balls.

8

@7: Interesting you say "the Commons" as that would have been Paul Allen's park and condos in the south Lake Union where Amazon is now - which Seattle's voters stupidly voted down.

9

@8

It would have been a lovely place to set up a tent, but we must look forward, not back.

And what we must look forward to, apparently, is more tents.

10

@3 the signature gatherers for the repeal referendum were volunteers. the "decline to sign" folks were the paid goons.

i saw all sorts of people signing the repeal petition - it was a varied cross section of the city, and they amassed quite a large number of signatures in a short time.

12

Amazon et al may be today's "robber barons", but they are our homegrown scumbags so we love them.

Seattle didn't just swing to the right, but we are an educated populace and we can do basic math. Building and forever subsidizing more $300K apartments is not a viable solution.

Surprised how Durkan was so inept on this. Councils behavior is SOP, they are a lost cause. Dow was much smarter.

13

@11: More than half of EVERYONE in Seattle is from somewhere else, so it's hardly surprising that the homeless population reflects that. The real red carpet rolled out by this city's leaders is the one for big businesses who tear up our streets, clog our buses, and refuse to give back to the city they call home. Amazon is not a good citizen. Bezos' wealth is disgusting. Don't like the Head Tax, Jeff? Well off with your head!

15

@14 The cities homeless population have doubled because rents have skyrockted, and people that could afford rent in the past now cannot. I'm currently sharing my 3 bedroom condo with my brother and his family of 4 because they've been entirely priced out king county - a place he has lived in all 41 years of his life. You clearly don't understand the financial pressures people in lower and mid level in comes are under.

16

If Gonzales, Herbold, O'Brian, etc. are for real. They'll fight. Why cave in? Because it gives them an easy out. If they vow to fight on, I'll vote for them again at re-election time. But, if they cave, I'll cave-in on them and vote for someone else. I voted for them because of their passion, ideals, their stance on the issues that matter to me. Yet the repeal is larger than it appears. It shows who's strong, who's weak. If they vote to repeal, they lose my vote in November.

17

@16

If you voted for both Herbold and O'Brian, you broke the law.

Welcome to the new realities of district elections, where your vote-threats are empty outside of your own back yard.

18

@15 did you brother become a junkie because of their situation? because most of the 'visible' homeless that are the poster children of the homeless population seem to be addicts of some sort.

the proponents of the tax did a horrible job of selling it to the general public first, before implementing the tax. it's that plain and simple.

i have voted to raise my own taxes at least 20 times in the last 20 years of owning a house here....parks, libraries, schools, etc etc. i have no idea how many times, and for many things that don't benefit me directly, but their backers made the case clear on where the money goes.

This tax really seemed half-baked and rushed. I do blame the messenger - the council seemed clueless on what the political landscape is on this issue.

19

I see more tents, more deaths, more angry neighbors. But this is what you bought yourselves, petition signers.

20

Rich White People win again! YAY!

21

We're a pretty compassionless society.

22

@18 I don't support this tax. But I might support something else. it's damn tough to make ends meet in King County if you make under 50k, and that's a real problem that is new in the last 10 years. Just because I thought this tax was ill conceived doesn't mean the problem doesn't exist. I don't feel bad about your tax burden, Run the numbers and see what you;d pay in Oregon or California, I had a job offer in California so I've done this calculation myself. You don't pay state income tax. When I took a look at adding income tax in exchange for a slight reduction in property and sales tax, I realized how little we pay in Washington.

23

"DEEP POCKETS STILL RUN THE SHOW"

You don't say? I've got news for you - the "deep pockets" have run Seattle since the Denny Party landed at Alki. That's the way the world works.

And no, "A CONSERVATIVE, ANTI-GOVERNMENT MESSAGE" did not win. A good government message won. Voters are willing to pay to play (see the endless school bond issues), but they want some concrete actions and goals, and this plan did not provide it. It was full of the same old cliches they've always promised.

City Government now occupies one entire downtown skyscraper - the fourth tallest building in town, if I'm not mistaken - and is renting space in three others. What are the citizens seeing for all that headcount?

Durkan is on the right path in cutting budgets, although her across-the-board cuts are short-sighted and will come back to bite us. The mayor and the council need to earn the trust of the voters.

24

@22 California is also full of poor and homeless people. Just having an income tax will not even come close to solving the problem.

25

@23, yeah, we've never not been a corporate town. The nose rings have always been window dressing ....

27

“It was Hillary’s fault for not winning Bernie supporters over” is apperently not a standard you’re willing to apply to yourselves.

Take away #6:

Washington tax policy is a fucking moral atrocity. And it obvious that you can’t fix major issues like homelessness without addressing it. Fauxgressives in Seattle can’t just pass a regressive tax for progressive aims and count on self-righteous indignation to snap everyone in line.

29

Considering that signature gatherers for the repeal initiative had to mislead signers, is there any evidence that the head tax is unpopular with a majority of voters? (Just like the other widely used, but questionable assertion that homeless people move to Seattle because of all the great handouts.)

I would have liked to see the repeal measure on the ballot to see what a majority of Seattle voters actually think.about this issue. Instead our phony, feel good progressives once again show their true colors and side with big money. I am sure all of the council members who vote for the repeal, will march in the upcoming pride parade and pass future resolutions that object to Trump administration policies. The same council members will be nowhere to be found during the next, heartless sweep of a homeless encampment. Yet another chapter in the ever continuing story of profiles in cowardice!

31

The tax was a product of one-party government operating at full speed with no speed bumps or stop signs. It was developed with very little thought, on the heels of several tax increases over the last few years. Finally a credible opposition arose to check the Council's power. I don't care if you call it the "business party" or the "NIMBY party." What matters is that the Council from now on will put some thought into its power to tax. A loud group of Sawant minions demonstrating at nearly every Council meeting does not by itself constitute democracy.

32

"Big money," "white people," "conservatives," "heartless greed"... Well, perhaps--but I saw and talked to many, many people opposed to this tax, and they represented vastly diverse sorts of folks. And quite a few are black, Latino, and poor. Yes, there are some poor moderates and conservatives in Seattle. Not every poor or lower-middle class Seattleite sees society through the lens of ruling class/working class warfare or bashes Amazon as the primary cause of homelessness. Some on the left cannot stand acknowledging when the "working class" does not support them. Somehow this must be denied, subverted, attacked. Obviously, yes, corporations influenced the signature-gathering campaign, but everyday working folks really were and remain the core of the campaign. This campaign is more redolent of Dick's Drive-In nostalgia than big-money technocracy.

33

@17, I see what you're saying. I mean that I'll just not vote for whoever is the council members of my district if they vote to repeal.

34

The City Council pattern: Write ordinances that negatively impact a minority of voters then spin the effected minority as bad people from bad organizations. It did not work this time. A new twist, blame the Council's failure on a right wing conspiracy, In Seattle!

35

@22 - i dont feel bad about my tax burden either. which is my point - i'm relatively inclined to support my existing and future tax burden without much complaint if the money is well-spent. and i am very underwhelmed with how the council has been dealing with this issue. i'm not sure if more new public money will have much effect on the issue of homelessness and addiction in this town. but i'd be willing to listen to their plans - but i didnt see any selling of there plan to the general public. which gives the impression they're in a bubble throwing away other people's money with a cavalier attitude. they also showed very little backbone when the opponents of this made a bit of noise. makes me wonder what they're doing all day.

36

@33 This "dial in voter" is going to run the bums out...just as soon as he conjures up the awareness of which bum actually serves his district. There's actually a Facebook app that can tell him, big tech to the rescue.

37

I thought the main take-away was that a revenue stream that sunsets in 5 years is a terrible vehicle for funding housing.

38

@2 "The vast majority of the citizen don't want a head tax"

You and the 3 other fringe right cranks who live in this city do not constitute a 'vast majority'.

39

@38 your joking right? How did they get 20,000 signatures in less than two weeks?

40

Amazon must be pretty strapped if they can't pony what proportionally is pretty much chump change.

41

45000 signatures in a month. But sure, big business, Seattlites really support this, blah blah blah.

This article is so arrogant and tone deaf. It’s like the greatest hits of the debate you just lost. I almost don’t have the energy. But anyway, McKinsey ‘study’ is a raw correlation that draws conclusions that conflict with actual research on unsheltered homelessness. (Spoiler alert - drivers are the housing market, mental health care, and substance abuse) The most shocking part about the study is that they found a PhD who was willing to put their name on that, but the academic job market is pretty brutal.

Alison Eisinger’s literal job is to advocate for more money for homeless services, so it’s not too surprising she thinks we need more. The spending plan was a sad joke that did very little to address the problem it was supposedly trying to solve. Etc.

42

@30 - This is my takeaway too. I understand that the rise in cost of living is pricing people out. It sucks. What I don't understand is why people do not move somewhere cheaper once they are priced out. I grew up in the bay area and moved away for college. I'll never move back, I cannot afford to live there. My entire family lives down there and has been in CA for generations. Wish I could be closer but it's not going to happen. I stay where I can afford to live. Seattle and King County are extremely expensive, there are hundreds of cities where the COL is much cheaper, why do people stay if they cannot afford it. If it reaches a point where we can't afford to live here, we're packing up and moving again.

43

@15 People need to understand that first you buy a home, then you start a family, not vice versa.

44

@42 Moving is expensive. Places that are cheap to live in typically don't have a surplus of good-paying jobs. Or even: jobs.

45

How many people are canceling Amazon accounts today? Nobody I know. Oh well.

46

45 Thank you. Lets encourage people to cancel Amazon accounts today. Lets demonstrate our power. Bezos the richest person on the planet a dictator. Calls the shots at city hall.

The county government has plenty of $ for jails no questions asked. The city and county governments have plenty of $ for more police and equipment That is their real answer to homelessness and poverty. Come on the tables must be turned. Boycott Amazon and the other corporate rulers. We can do it if we do it.

47

We already knew who the (overly) corporate-friendly members of the city council are (Bruce Harrel, Sally Bagshaw, Rob Johnson, and Deborah Juarez), but now we also know who the ones lacking backbone are (Lisa Herbold, Mike O'Brien, and Lorena Gonzales).

Only Kshama Sawant and Teresa Mosqueda had the courage to not allow themselves to be bullied by the Big Business lobby and their multi-billion dollar war chests. I'll be letting my council member (O'Brien) and at-large council member González know they've lost my vote until they can show that they've grown the backbone to stand up to Amazon and Starbucks and other such bullies.

48

@46: The reason my spouse and I order from Amazon is we have a small child, and we’d rather be spending our time with him at home than dragging him screaming through grocery stores. None of that will change anytime soon. Amazon makes money by offering a high-quality service people want. Why should we boycott it because CM Sawant shamelessly attacked Amazon to get her worthless tax passed?

@47: please do spend your time attacking any City Council Members who dared listen to actual voters. Eliminate that 9-0 majority, one seat at a time!