Seattle’s Democratic machine, like most LD Democratic parties around the country,has been hijacked by identity politics.

It doesn’t matter to them what you stand for, or what you will do in office. It only matters what you are. Pamela Banks was picked to run against Sawant only because she was Black and a woman, and the Democratic machine thought CD voters would vote for Banks solely for that reason alone.

The other half of the Third District is Capitol Hill, so now theyve picked Egan Orion, figuring that if they couldn’t get Black voters in the CD to support Banks, maybe they can get gay voters in Capitol Hill to support Orion.

The presumption is that the candidates have no other qualities than their gender, race and sexuality. Nothing else exists. You could get a cardboard cutout of Carson Kressley and run it as the Chamber’s candidate for the Third District next year, and that piece of cardboard would have just as much depth and well thought out policies as Egan Orion or Pamela Banks.

It’s the same philosophy the GOP used in picking Sarah Palin. They saw that Hillary Clinton had some appeal in the primaries against Obama, and they reduced her down to nothing more than a pair of tits. Then they said “Hey, you want boobs, we got boobs, baby!” and put Sarah Palin onto the ticket.

I have an idea. How about a rational, substantive policy discussion based entirely on ideas. You know, what would you actually do if elected? Can you tell me there is more to you than just being gay?

They won’t do that, though. Sawant would win. Her ideas are based in sound economic science.


The head-tax was a PAYROLL tax and is in absolutely no way progressive. It's also easily dodged. A progressive B&O tax, specifically on commercial real estate, is a much better idea.


@4 tldr rising rents increase property taxes, not the other way around

Sargon, what you said needs some correction. Rising rents increase property values, which MAY increase your share of property taxes, but it's never the other way around.

When valuing a property, assessors use one of or a combination of three methods.

Comparable sales, ie what other houses on the block are going for. This is the primary method used for residential valuations.
Replacement cost
Projected income, which is the most appropriate to use in properties used to generate income. Think about it like this: if you're going to buy an apartment complex, you're going to be primarily interested in how much rent you can charge in the future. In the same way, that's how assessors value multifamily properties.

Notice how it's "how much future rent" and THEN "ok here is the value and then based on that here is the property tax assessment." So you can see that it's NOT rising property taxes that increase rental costs, it's this arms race we have as a rental market - rents skyrocketing - which causes property values to go up.

This is a very common misconception. WA property tax laws are opaque and confusing. It's like RCW 80 something for valuation methods and then you gotta dig around the king county assessor website for how property taxes get divvied up.


Ugh Egan is so darling and adorable I can't stand it


@4, the easiest way to get lower property taxes is for Washington State to adopt a progressive income tax. Short of that, we need to tax landlords as hotels if they list rooms on Air-BNB that are not currently on the rental market, and make the rate at which rental properties are taxed a function of the relative value between the value of the property being taxed to the annual revenue it creates.


Lester, to correct your work. The Employee Head Tax “literally” by definition is not a progressive tax.


2, I love you! I love what you've written here! You are 100% correct. Good Lord, you can't be from around here, can you?! You sound as if you're from somewhere else. I was so happy to read your response that I'm sitting here with my jaw unhinged at your thoughtful and hilarious response. You've made my late night. Thank you.



You don't expect anything other than the standard narrative from ManBun, do you?



Do you really think Jeff Bezos is concerned with a cartoon character like Kshama Sawant? Sawant's a political fluke as well as a naked demagogue. Luck and lies got her into office. Bezos easily could have engineered Sawant's political demise--the woman is a grandstander and hypocrite of the first rank. A cursory examination of what she does as opposed to what she says, would reveal her and hubby Calvin as classic grifters. Maybe Jeff calculates that letting the mad soap opera that is Shrieking Kshama play out, will be more advantageous than muscling her out of office. Sawant's a slander or two from political suicide. Why take the gun out of her hand?


Sawant reminds me of that lady who was the assistant for the Bhagwan down in Oregon in the 70's. Anyone see that documentary?


Lester: a policy that charges the checker at QFC the same tax as the brogrammer at Amazon ISN'T FUCKING PROGRESSIVE.


Tldr: she hasn't done jack shit while in office, other than occasionally drag a few staffers in front of Amazon HQ so she can yell about how unfair the world is.

I know it is, Ms Sawant. Its a shame your laserlike focus on self promotion and distaste for practical reality will do absolutely nothing to help the people from getting screwed by this unfair world.


If this is Amazon vs. Sawant, I would vote for Sawant. However if this is about the merit and the record of Kshama Sawant, I would vote for Egan Orion. Sawant is a gad fly, who is not going to get anything she is running for, even close to fruition.


Pretty much like Trump and Fox, the anti-Amazon tax contingent clearly believes that repeating gratuitous assertions and falsehoods ad-infinitum will win the day.


@16: The EHT would have taxed hundreds of local businesses, not just Amazon. Calling it the "Amazon tax" was (and is) blatant, demagogic lying on the part of the EHT's sponsors and their supporters. Please direct your righteous ire at them; CM Sawant and the author of this headline posts are examples of each, respectively.


@17 First, simple arithmetic indicates that more than half the revenue from the Amazon tax would have come from Amazon itself. Second, Amazon played a leading role in also refusing a payroll tax and a state income tax, which directly lead to the formulation of the Seattle employee hours tax, aka the Amazon tax. Third, Amazon again lead the charge against the Amazon tax. It is fair to say that Amazon earned the Amazon Tax name fair and square because without Amazon, the tax itself would likely never have existed.


Sawant is the Tim Eyman of Socialism. She's incompetent. She's no Warren or Sanders


I think most of Sawant's ideas are pie in the sky borderline nonsense. Rent control is not going to happen.

I'd say the taxation issue is a valid point but I have voted for her primarily because I like how she does her best to make life difficult for developers. Yes we need more affordable housing and yes re-zoning and encouraging (some) more development is important but the 'density at all cost' mindset is idiotic. Developers are mostly greedy shits and should not be given carte blanche to do as they please because we need more housing. She is pretty good at throwing gravel in their smoothly running 'turn Seattle into a miserable office park' machine.


Sawant has demonstrated zero ability to get anything done, so I'm all for her. That government is best that governs least, and Sawant couldn't run lemonade stand.


@18: First, show your work. (It's "simple arithmetic," right?)

Second, show your work. "Second, Amazon played a leading role in also refusing a payroll tax and a state income tax, which directly lead to the formulation of the Seattle employee hours tax, aka the Amazon tax."

Third, the idea that Sawant would not have pushed a tax on "the rich" to feed a bloated and worse-than-useless Homeless-Industrial Complex is absurd:

"That said, providers — including SHARE and WHEEL — seem entirely unwilling to entertain the notion that they should be held to any performance standards at all."


'She is also using this controversy to continue to push for a progressive “head tax” on Seattle’s largest businesses.'



@22 "show your work"

Lame obfuscation considering you didn't show you work either, asshole. Your denying that Amazon fought the income tax and declined the payroll tax shows once again that you'll say just about anything in your propaganda war.


I always vote for people based on their bang-ability. I would definitely bang Orion over Sawant and I'm straight. At least... I think I am


@24: Ha, ha, ha. Facts are obfuscation only to persons with beliefs like yours. Thanks for admitting you can't even do "simple arithmetic" to support your claims.

I showed how CM Sawant was going to "tax the rich" and throw the proceeds away on the Homeless-Industrial Complex, no matter whose name she slapped on the resulting policy. That directly refutes your groundless (and ludicrous) claim that Amazon itself had caused the EHT. (If you want to deny the tax would have affected thousands of non-Amazon jobs at hundreds of non-Amazon employers, go right ahead and give us that laugh.)

I didn't deny Amazon opposed prior tax proposals; I did say it's irrelevant to what eventually happened, and provided evidence to show the lack of connection -- the very work you failed to show. Tens of thousands of citizens signed the Referendum petitions to recall the tax, so many the Mayor was able to orchestrate a swift repeal. Go ahead, tell us they signed only upon Amazon's orders. You won't show your work there, either.


@18: "First, simple arithmetic indicates that more than half the revenue from the Amazon tax would have come from Amazon itself."

Try out your "simple arithmetic" on these numbers:

"About 3 percent of Seattle businesses will be taxed, raising about $47 million per year, according to the council."

"With more than 45,000 employees in the city, Amazon could pay more than $10 million per year."


So, let's assume that "could pay more than $10 million per year" actually became $20 million, and so the EHT's revenues became $47 - $57 million per year. Please demonstrate, using your "simple arithmetic," how "... more than half the revenue from the Amazon tax would have come from Amazon itself."

It's "simple arithmetic," right? Get to it. Show us how $10M is "more than half" of $47M. Or $20M is "more than half" of $57M. Go right ahead, it's simple!

Show your work. It's as "simple" as that.


@27 actually I had the total revenue wrong (I thought total revenue was $20 mil) but do go on believing that knowing how to multiply a tax rate by an employee number is something special, fuckwit.

Also note that 1/2 or nearly a quarter of the total amount doesn't change much to the story: Amazon remains the entity that would have paid the most and by far.

@26 spare me the drivel. You haven't shown shit except that you can regurgitate the same stupid propaganda ad-infinitum.


Amazon is hardly the only finder of CASE. Many individuals and businesses have contributed in an effort to return to a sane city council that is, at least, modestly effective for citizens of Seattle.
Why no mention of Sawant’s extensive out-of-state and union funding and her refusal to utilize Seattle’s Democracy Vouchers?


I don't understand these writers from The Stranger or Sawant. They constantly ostracize the rest of the 3rd district thats not Capitol Hill. I see it as voting against my own best interests to vote for Sawant... Try calling her office about a problem in one of the other neighborhoods


@30: Neither CM Sawant, nor writers here at The Stranger, care anything about anyone who does not reside on Capitol Hill.

@28: “...I had the total revenue wrong.”

You don’t say? By what else about the EHT were you off by a factor of more than two? (That’s simple arithmetic! Aren’t you impressed?)

“...but do go on believing that knowing how to multiply a tax rate by an employee number is something special,”

That would be simple arithmetic, yes, but I didn’t mention the EHT’s rate. I merely obtained directly the actual projections about EHT revenues, and noted that by simple arithmetic, your first argument for calling it the “Amazon Tax” was Dead. Flat. Wrong. Not that you seem to have noticed:

“Also note that 1/2 or nearly a quarter of the total amount doesn't change much to the story...”

If you’d do some simple arithmetic, you’d see there’s a large difference between these two figures: the figure you gave was more than twice the real one. There’s also a rather large difference between a simple majority and less-than-one-quarter minority; with more than three-quarters of the payers being not Amazon, the better name for it would be the “Mostly-Not-Amazon” Tax.

“Amazon remains the entity that would have paid the most and by far.”

Your unsupported assertions in this thread do not actually have a long half-life. Simple arithmetic shows one of your three claims @18 died within hours @27. Again, even if Amazon would have paid a plurality of the tax, that still makes it — by simple arithmetic — the Mostly Not-Amazon Tax.

“You haven't shown shit except that you can regurgitate the same stupid propaganda ad-infinitum.”

I believe we call this “projection.”


If those who keep raging against the Amazon tax don't support repealing the state bans on income and wealth taxes, they have no right to imply that Sawant and other progressives were somehow indifferent to the need to get rid of those bans. The issue driving the Amazon tax was that more revenue was needed to meet the homeless crisis-a real crisis, btw, because the "Homeless-Industrial-Complex" phrase tensor likes to spew out doesn't refer to anything real-there is no more any such thing as a "Homeless-Industrial-Complex" than there was ever any such thing as "The Welfare Queen"-a figure who, btw, would almost certainly have been white, rather than black, if she HAD existed..

Nobody in Seattle is profiting off of the fact that a small number of public efforts have been made to address homelessness.

And there is no valid reason to continue to froth about the Amazon tax. It wasn't an evil idea and it ended up being repealed. Leave it at that.'

Homelessness and poverty can't be combatted by cutting services and letting police arrest more people.

Please wait...

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