Get ready to empty your wallets, Seattle: Task force recommends new taxes to address homelessness

perfect enemy of good

The City of Seattle has already allocated over $37M to address homelessness and King County has budgeted over $195M for a grand total of over $232M. But it’s never enough.

From MyNorthwest.comA head tax on Seattle businesses may not be enough, according to a task force that is now recommending additional taxes on the city’s wealthy residents.

“We therefore believe that the City of Seattle should pass legislation this year to generate $150 million per year in new progressive revenue, including an Employee Hours Tax,” the task force states in its report to the council. “… wisely invested over the next 10 years, will result in significant and measurable progress toward ending the crisis of homelessness and housing insecurity in our city.”

The March 9 report from Seattle’s Progressive Revenue Task Force on Housing and Homelessness primarily proposes an employee hours tax — also referred to as a head tax. But it also proposes new taxes, including estate and CEO taxes.

(The first bulleted item in the report overview: “There is an urgent need for fiscal discipline.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.)

Additionally, the task force recommends the city change its approach to the homeless crises. For example, providing special RV tags allowing them to park without fear of being ticketed.

The task force notes that cuts could be made to some city spending, such as the criminal justice budget. But it concludes that new revenue is the main solution to the homelessness crisis. The task force states that “tax burdens should not be increased lightly,” and that the homeless crisis is caused, in part, by Seattle’s economic boom.

Employee hours tax: The task force recommends the city establish an employee hours tax to go into effect Jan. 1, 2019. It provides a range of options based on employer size and type. In the end, it aims to raise between $25 million to $75 million a year. The reports states: Employers that can afford to contribute more should pay more, while employers that cannot afford to contribute as much should pay less.

Noting that it may not be perfect, the report encourages the council to “not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

Care should be taken not to disproportionately impact POC– and other minority-owned businesses and employers, or to speed the process of gentrification and displacement that are already transforming business districts as well as residential areas in many neighborhoods where communities of color have historically resided.

The city would tax employers either with a flat fee per employee or as a percentage of payroll. It also suggests the council design the tax to vary depending on business size. The report states that the council should design exceptions, such as businesses under a certain revenue threshold.

Other new taxes: The task force recommends additional taxes to raise beyond the $75 million employee hours tax. It admits that the amount it proposes won’t cover the entire housing need, but will be “a solid start” to solving the problem through affordable housing programs.

The city can leverage state and federal funding, but still Seattle must pitch in ~ $170,000 per unit. That means we need a total of $3.4 billion, or $340 million per year for 10 years. That $340 million annual need only covers capital costs, not ongoing operations. The task force therefore proposes a variety of additional tax strategies beyond an employee hours tax.

Read the rest of the story here (other proposed new taxes include a high compensation tax and local estate tax – as much as a 50 percent increase!).


17 responses to “Get ready to empty your wallets, Seattle: Task force recommends new taxes to address homelessness

  1. Seattle is well on its way to becoming another Detroit.
    All it takes to ruin a large city is allow the dems to have control of it.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. How many of these millions of dollars actually benefit the homeless?
    In the USA there are more than 10 vacant homes for each homeless person.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. The last sentence in the paragraph that begins with ” Employee hours tax “is right out of the communist manifesto : ” From each according to their ability to each according to their need “

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Well you get what you vote for seems there are a whole lot of “which way did he go leaders” but hey you wanted them you got them and now you reap what you have sewed so don’t cry when your check has a new deduct on it for the good of all. REALLY ☻

    Liked by 2 people

  5. First off, how many danged homeless are there in Washington? Second of all, most of the “homeless” that I have encountered, are that way due to poor choices and addiction…. basically, they choose to live this way. Until you “fix” the mentally ill and addicted, this will NEVER go away. And, of course this (in reality) creates more bureaucracy and further pads the pols pockets. Why would the tax payers in Washington stand for this for a second?

    “Speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.” Geo. Orwell

    Liked by 3 people

    • “King County has the third-largest concentration of homeless people in the country, a new federal report shows.

      National homelessness figures compiled by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development show that with an estimated count of 11,643 in 2017, King County trails behind only Los Angeles County and New York City in overall homeless population. That overall number includes people living in shelters and other facilities, as well as outdoors. ”

      Liked by 2 people

    • Not all homeless are drug addicts/mental cases, there are some (which are not a majority) who have fallen on bad financial luck, it doesn’t take much nowadays, especially if you don’t have a family nearby and then you lose your job, you can’t find another one in time, then if you’re renting or making mortgage payments you can fall behind quickly. Some of the panhandlers actually have homes and are just doing it for a free hand out. Some even pretend to be injured (they get wheelchairs, braces, etc) and hang out near the major traffic areas during rush hour and people just give them money! It’s insane. Especially when you see the same people running around during non-rush hour, sans wheelchairs and braces.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Anytime you see the word “progressive” in anything related to taxes or politics, think “communist”. Then it’ll make sense!
    Maybe they think that when they ratchet up the ol’ tax noose on ‘wealthy’ people (how dare they be successful!) then when the people leave with their money they’ll also leave their homes too. Then when the ‘hood goes downhill due to no more property tax paying wealthy people, the resultant decay will provide lots of abandoned homes for the homeless to live in.
    Just show me ONE example where more growth-stifling taxes (theft) has helped any situation.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Reblogged this on On the Patio and commented:

    The new seattle motto : Mo’ Money! Mo’ Money! Mo’ Money!”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s the commie-lib mantra:

    If it exists, tax it.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Seems like Seattle should just ship their Homeless to San Francisco…they would love more and they would get more Bennies and better weather, what’s not to like?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is what a progressive bastion gets you: Homeless people are dying in the parking lot faster than they are finding housing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A few generalizations are in order. Taxing the successful to pay for those who aren’t is counterproductive. Maybe if they were a little less “liberal” with their pie-in-the-sky spending on things like escalators, there would be more money available for homeless.

    I know that many are homeless through no fault of their own. That is a tragedy. I know that I give to charities that help them. I don’t give to government to help them, at least not voluntarily.

    Handouts do not help. What helps are long-term employment and some help with immediate medical issues. Business would be in much better shape to offer jobs if they weren’t taxed to death.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I read another story yesterday where some said they prefer living on the streets because they don’t have to pay rent.

      Liked by 2 people

      • There are some who do that, but not ALL. There are also some new “Gypsies” created by Amazon who travel the country living in company-provided RV parks. They are low wage jobs and a portion of their pay goes to rent for the space (the old company town).

        What I do know from my life’s experience is that most that live on the streets have problems. They are alcoholics, addicts, have mental problems, whatever. An insane person that tells you “I live on the street so I don’t have to pay rent”, may not be the whole explanation.

        I think there are a few that actually like the “freedom” associated with it. For those that “choose” that lifestyle, there should be no expectation of charity from others. Even religious monks that depended upon alms were praying for others to earn their keep.

        Liked by 2 people

          • I have no doubt that it happens, but I’m not going to buy into that whole thing that EVERYBODY who’s on the street is there because they want to be. That isn’t true, no mater how much some would like to believe that.

            “There but for the grace of God go I”, is how I see it. Bad things happen to good people. I know that if there were sufficient jobs for everyone and we still had a problem with this it would deserve a closer look. We don’t have jobs for everyone.

            If it is government’s job to find space for them then it seems logical it would be government’s job to ensure there’s enough work to go around. That would include precluding treaties and such practices that shipped work out of the country or imported foreign workers while our people were still unemployed.

            If it isn’t government’s business I don’t know who is going to take up the slack. Private entities could be more helpful if not taxed. As long as they are taxing us they should produce. It isn’t something one can wish away.

            As a Christian I’m not going to let my brother or sister starve if I can help it. I may not like what that does to me, but that’s neither here nor there. We do say that we expect “leadership” from these public serpents. I can think of several different ways to approach this. Any of them would not be liked by everyone.

            I really don’t like the idea of having these cities “compete” for homeless. That’s what happens when some ban them and others invite them. Obviously, they have to be some place.

            Liked by 1 person

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