Patterico's Pontifications

6/12/2018

Remember That Seattle Business Head Tax? It’s Gone, Baby, Gone

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:26 pm

[guest post by JVW]

If far-left politicians were capable of embarrassment, this would be a doozy:

In a stunning reversal without parallel in Seattle’s recent political history, the City Council voted 7-2 Tuesday to repeal a controversial head tax on large employers.

Mayor Jenny Durkan is expected to make the action final by signing it into law.

The repeal, ending a raucous special meeting called by Council President Bruce Harrell, came less than a month after the council voted 9-0 to approve the tax of $275 per employee, per year to help fund housing and services for homeless people.

The move also came as a business-backed campaign to kill the tax was preparing to submit petition signatures this week to qualify the referendum for the November ballot.

I like the part bout “to help fund housing and services for homeless people.” It’s kind of a subtle acknowledgement that not all of the money would go to that cause; some of it would be siphoned off by useless city bureaucrats and exploding pension and health obligations.

Before the tally, Councilmember Lisa Herbold said she felt like weeping but would side with the majority of her colleagues because the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce had managed to persuade “the vast majority” of voters to oppose the tax.

Herbold said she lost hope over the weekend after seeing poll results and talking with advocates. Better to retreat now rather than see voters cancel the tax in November after a bitter, monthlong struggle, she said.

Man, it really sucks when the voters exercise their right to disagree with the prerogatives of their elected officials, doesn’t it, Councilwoman Herbold?

Seattle apparently believes it is in a competition with San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and other large metropolitan locales for the Wokest City in America designation, as some recent years’ decisions made there would seem to indicate. It’s a race to kill the goose who lays the golden eggs, as progressive policies inevitably squeeze out the younger middle class, much as the other aforementioned cities are now realizing.

Read the rest of the article to have a laugh at the banality of left-wing economic thought, the unhingedness (new word) of local activists, and a city council that has shredded its credibility with both businesses and local activists with this grossly unforced error.

For all the talk about the alleged blue wave coming this fall, the left has a great deal of infighting to go through before they can attempt to advance a coherent agenda.

– JVW

29 Responses to “Remember That Seattle Business Head Tax? It’s Gone, Baby, Gone”

  1. That’s not to argue that Amazon, Starbucks, and the like don’t deserve to be vexed a great deal: Lady, you knew I was a snake when you first picked me up.

    JVW (42615e)

  2. Seattle Slew?!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  3. The head tax was so obviously a horribly unfair idea, that only greedy deranged leftist true-belivers would have arrogantly tried ram it down the throats of Seattle’s biggest employers.

    Let this be a warning – the left seeks elected office in order to exercise the naked coercive power of government force over private sector employers, and to limit the Constitutional freedoms of American citizens. To the left only The STATE has rights, all others have the obligation to obey.

    ropelight (511571)

  4. This can’t be the same city where a councilwoman boasted she had no Republican friends, can it?

    “Kshama Sawant wasn’t having any of that. She stood up and said Burgess wasn’t speaking for her with this “our Republican friends” stuff. Because, she assured the crowd, she doesn’t have any Republican friends.

    Yay, cheered the crowd.”

    http://www.city-data.com/forum/seattle-area/2772851-has-kshama-sawant-gone-too-far.html#ixzz5IH2zfo1H

    Get woke, go broke.

    harkin (e5c973)

  5. The Seattle City Council was reminded of the order of things, is what happened. To wit: “Taxes are for the little people.” They’ll know better next time and just raise everybody’s property taxes by a few dollars or increase the sales tax by a quarter of a penny. Not go up against corporate Krakens.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. You really have to wonder about liberals who say that since the tax was overturned, it just means that they’ll have to find other monies from somewhere else to deal with the incredible growth of homelessness…….while ignoring the roughly 300,000 illegals in the state.

    harkin (e5c973)

  7. Just the latest, greatest, example of Lefties refusing to show themselves for what, and who, they truly are.

    There is a near-zero chance any of the 7 who reversed themselves will face significant intra-party opposition.

    Ed from SFV (1b88c3)

  8. Great idea, raise taxes on home owners and the employed to support the lazy loafers too busy drinking and using drugs to find a job. Which shouldn’t be all that difficult in a booming economy with more jobs open than individuals seeking work.

    ropelight (511571)

  9. And even in azure blue California josh newman ‘crashed and burned’ like the opwning credits of the six million dollar man.

    narciso (560bda)

  10. I don’t know about those other cities, but LA’s business climate can be fairly judged by the LA Times business section, where you can regularly read columns about how greedy capitalists are.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  11. Like Michael hilzik perhaps.

    narciso (d1f714)

  12. Was it Seattle that, several years back, put a pretty hefty fee or tax, or something, on gun stores? And in response most moved to locations outside the city limits, the net result being that instead of raking in a kajillion dollars in revenue the city realized instead a significant drop in sales ta revenue. The pols were somewhat amazed that businesses would actually move, as in relocate, just to avoid fees/taxes and remain financially viable. That project might have been rolled back by follow up council action, too.

    Gramps (85597f)

  13. I have a great idea… Tax the homeless $275 a head per year.

    We know that if we tax something, we get less of it. And it is a user “fee”. The people with jobs don’t need homeless services.

    San Francisco is spending >$240,000,000 last year on their homeless–And they keep getting more homeless (subsidizing homeless => more homeless).

    https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/S-F-spends-record-241-million-on-homeless-6808319.php

    Seattle was going to only spend $50,000,000 per year (less typical ~50% “government leakage” and sticky fingers). They really need to have larger subsidies if they want to have more homeless folks.

    BfC (5517e8)

  14. slut?

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  15. weaksuck?

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  16. there we go

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  17. what’s with this pathetic attempt at spin from The Hill propaganda slut Reid Wilson

    Sisolak faced a far stronger challenge from fellow Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani (D). With 56% of the precincts reporting, Sisolak led by a 51 to 38% margin.

    Giunchigliani challenged Sisolak from the left, making an issue of Sisolak’s support for public funding of a new NFL stadium that will host the Raiders. She also benefitted from a late endorsement from Hillary Clinton, who recorded a robocall that went out to Democratic voters over the past weekend.

    yup that old time Hillary magic

    whatever

    Sisolak walked away with it

    salient fact about Nevada politics come November:

    Team R wouldn’t have a worry in the whirl about holding onto the governor’s office if dirty obamacare-loving mccain-fellating prostitute Dean Heller wasn’t such a simpering weaksuck.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  18. ugh this should’ve been in blocky block

    Sisolak faced a far stronger challenge from fellow Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani (D). With 56% of the precincts reporting, Sisolak led by a 51 to 38% margin.

    Giunchigliani challenged Sisolak from the left, making an issue of Sisolak’s support for public funding of a new NFL stadium that will host the Raiders. She also benefitted from a late endorsement from Hillary Clinton, who recorded a robocall that went out to Democratic voters over the past weekend.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  19. here’s an idea what’s similarly brilliant to the Seattle head tax

    brought to you by the same racist philly geniuses what banned bulletproof glass… but note that Los Angeles and Denver have both enacted similarly r-worded policies

    The tax is supposed to raise roughly $22 million a year, which will be spent on building below-market housing units and subsidizing down payments for families making as much as $105,000 a year. The specifics of how this money will be spent have yet to be hashed out (lol), but The Wall Street Journal reports that those down payment subsidies could reach as high as $10,000 per recipient.

    Taxing the thing you want more of is not unique to the city of brotherly love.

    Los Angeles passed a per-square foot “linkage fee” on new development with the intention of plowing the proceeds into affordable housing and homelessness services in late 2017, as did Denver in late 2016. (It’s called a linkage fee because of the supposed link between new development and rising home prices and homelessness.)

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  20. San Francisco is spending >$240,000,000 last year on their homeless–And they keep getting more homeless (subsidizing homeless => more homeless).

    It’s going to be a wonder watching how the msm covers for this guy:

    “This is a dramatic shift,” Newsom announced as he unveiled his “Ten Year Plan to Abolish Chronic Homelessness.” “This won’t all happen tomorrow. But it will get done.”

    San Franciscans are still waiting.

    A decade and roughly $1.5 billion later, the city has succeeded in moving 19,500 homeless people off its streets, roughly equivalent to relocating the entire Castro district. But despite that major effort, the homeless population hasn’t budged, showing that as one homeless person is helped, another takes his place.

    harkin (e5c973)

  21. Hopefully, they can pawn matches off on Vancouver BC or Portland, but the corporates might be more willing to cough up for this: http://www.cbssports.com/soccer/world-cup/news/united-states-mexico-and-canada-bid-wins-2026-world-cup-vote-will-host-tournament-in-eight-years/

    urbanleftbehind (1e67c5)

  22. Remember that just last year the Einsteins on the soak-the-rich city council tried to impose an income tax on those making more than $250k a year, which was knocked down by the King County Superior Court. Instead of figuring out spending priorities, the lefties on the council are more focused on scaring up even more money for their social projects.
    The not-so-dirty little secret in Seattle is that they already have the money. Their 2016 budget was $4 billion and, in 2017-2018, was bumped up to $5.7 billion a year.

    Paul Montagu (c66aed)

  23. They will never learn: leaving out a saucer of milk and a bowl of Meow Mix is NOT how you get rid of the stray cats pooping in your garden.

    Gramps (85597f)

  24. Disagree on “to help fund”. Could mean even 100% of it isn’t enough for their plans.

    Richard Aubrey (10ef71)

  25. Could mean even 100% of it isn’t enough for their plans.

    This is true, Richard. King County paid for a study which concluded it would cost $400 million a year to address the homeless crisis, which is over an order of magnitude more than what the head tax would collect.

    Paul Montagu (c66aed)

  26. Disagree on “to help fund”. Could mean even 100% of it isn’t enough for their plans.

    Seattle doesn’t have a separate Homeless Services Department, it’s folded into their Human Services Department which also handles various youth and senior citizen initiatives as well as services for the working poor who are not homeless. You can’t tell me that 100% of the business tax money would have gone to programs dedicated to the homeless; some would have been certainly been siphoned off for other department programs, and the hiring of new bureaucrats would inevitably have been a priority.

    JVW (42615e)

  27. “Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.”

    Winston Churchill, 1948.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  28. I was willing to raise awareness of the homeless to woke levels for $4.8M of that money.
    One of my ideas was to make Starbucks print a $1 off and free use of restroom coupon on every cup cover. Make Starbucks pay twice.

    For Microsoft, my idea was to prevent mental illness by insisting that they figure out how make Windows 10 more stable on my computer

    steveg (a9dcab)


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