Tag Archives: Dow Constantine

Liberal/Marxist logic: King County Executive says “fairness comes down to your ability to pay”

dow constantine

Dow Constantine: It’s not fair…

I’m so glad I moved out of Washington state.

From MyNorthwest.com: King County Executive Dow Constantine says Washington taxes are unfair and he wants to fix them.

“Now, what is fair depends on where you stand, obviously, but I would submit this: That fairness comes down to your ability to pay,” Constantine recently said at an event for the Sound Cities Association.”

“It’s not fair to expect those with limited means to pay a larger percent of the little they have to support our collective roads, and police, and transit that are essential for all of us, for a prosperous economy and a strong community,” he said.

Constantine was recently the keynote speaker at an event for the Sound Cities Association. Here, he laid out his argument that Washington taxes are not being collected fairly. In short, families at the lowest end of the income ladder pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than those earning at the highest end. Also, households in a city like Seattle are paying much more than households elsewhere.

Constantine made this example:

It was mentioned that I live in West Seattle. My folks live in the house in which I was raised. It’s a modest house owned by two long-retired public school teachers. They get their pension; they get their Social Security. And the Legislature just handed them a big property tax increase on this little house in which I was raised.

They are going to be paying more for schools statewide, but my mom’s brother and his wife – my aunt and uncle – live down in Centralia. They are also long-retired public school teachers. They also live in a modest house they’ve owned for a long time.

Their school district is going to get subsidized by my parents and they are very likely going to get a tax cut. Even though they have the exact same income as my parents. That is clearly not fair.

You can see the data he presented here(A link to his web site that provides his full speech. It doesn’t include any links to hard tax data/analysis provided by a nonpartisan organization). His speech comes as Seattle is championing an effort for an income tax; the city plans to take its case all the way to the state Supreme Court.

Constantine’s speech, however, was short on specific solutions to the issues around Washington taxes. He did point out examples of “things that could be different.” He also said “no one is actively considering” an income tax (someone might want to point him to Seattle’s Supreme Court case). Also, in August, voters rejected Constantine’s proposed $469 million sales-tax hike (“Access for All”) to raise money for art, science, and culture programs.

Constantine suggested:

  • Recast the sales tax: Apply it to more types of sales, but at a lower rate. This is also done in Hawaii, New Mexico, and both North and South Dakota.
  • Tax capital gains — income that people don’t earn — as a way to offset property taxes.
  • Allow governments to tax app downloads (Constantine admits that the local tech industry might not be in favor of this).
  • Fix “our goofy B&O tax”: The state should tax based on value added — on each stage of production — which would ultimately be paid by the end user. Businesses are currently taxed on gross receipts whether or not they make money, Constantine notes.
  • Property tax relief for seniors, veterans and other homeowners based on income.

Constantine also expanded on what taxes should primarily be used for:

  • Ensure all children get a decent education and job training that allows them to do better than their parents.
  • Build transit and a power grid for a modern economy.
  • Provide access to health care for all.
  • “And so much more.”



Seattle has a solution to their homelessness crisis: A 75-person task force

government solve all problems

The city of Seattle has a major homelessness problem. It’s so bad that the former disgraced homosexual mayor, Ed Murray, declared a State of Emergency on November 2, 2015. From my blog post in April 2017:

In 2016, the King County region saw an increase of 19% of our unsheltered population, the majority of those people residing in Seattle. In November of 2015, Mayor Murray declared a State of Emergency on Homelessness to bring light to this crisis and seek greater support from our state and federal partners. Mayor Murray has increased spending on homelessness intervention and prevention and the City of Seattle is now spending a record high of nearly $50 million dollars to address this crisis.”

The city has spent a lot of tax payer money to try and solve the problem. Here’s an example of what they’ve done to date:

Three years after the State of Emergency was declared and after all the hires and money spent, homelessness is still a major issue in the city.

The solution now? Form a large task force which, no doubt, will recommend more new taxes.

Jonathan Martin at the Seattle Times reports on the details of this new task force:

The number of people in King County who left homelessness for permanent housing has nearly doubled since 2012, but the overall tally of people who became homeless has risen more steeply — to nearly 30,000 in 2016.

That data, from King County, framed the launch on Monday of a sprawling new regional task force on homelessness to stop the descent of many into abject poverty. The 75-member group, called One Table, is the first evidence of regional collaboration between new Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and King County Executive Dow Constantine on the homelessness crisis.

The mission of the task force remains fuzzy — with a stated goal of finding solutions to “root causes,” including a lack of affordable housing and gaps in the behavioral health, criminal justice and child welfare systems that jettison people directly into homelessness.

At a news conference after the first meeting, Constantine said the task force was in response to a city property tax proposed, then withdrawn, last year by former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray for homeless services.

One Table, co-chaired by Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus, includes leaders from a business community that has objected to a rising tax level. But Constantine suggested its recommendations could include new taxes for homelessness prevention.

“We’re spending a lot of money now on crisis response (to homelessness), but on the prevention side, on the root causes, there is clearly still a gap in the resources available,” he said.

Durkan sounded less enthusiastic. “We can’t reverse engineer this — it’s not the taxes first, and then do the services that fit the taxes,” she said. “Let’s find the solutions, then scope the resource to fill that gap.”

Read the rest of the details here.


King County seeks to allocate $750,000 to help immigrants


King County Executive Dow Constantine: “We have this much taxpayer money for illegals!”

Only in America: Illegally enter our country and the proggies will use taxpayer dollars to defend your “human rights.” Ain’t it grand?

From the Seattle Times: King County may allocate $750,000 to help immigrants become U.S. citizens and to educate them about their rights.

County Executive Dow Constantine plans to propose legislation to make the money available. Metropolitan King County Council Chair Joe McDermott plans to sponsor it.  They held a news conference Wednesday, but the legislation wasn’t yet available.

The money would be used for three purposes, according to Constantine and McDermott: to provide free guidance to immigrants seeking to become citizens, to develop and distribute “know your rights” materials and to boost outreach and education work carried out by community organizations that serve immigrants.

Constantine and McDermott say the legislation would create a “legal defense fund,” because it would pay for naturalization assistance. But that may be a stretch. Some other local governments, such as Los Angeles, are spending money to actually provide people facing deportation with immigration-court lawyers.

That doesn’t appear to be what Constantine has in mind, though McDermott said some of King County’s money would likely go to the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, which provides immigration-court representation, among other services.

Constantine linked the plan to President Donald Trump’s recent actions on immigration. “People in our community are afraid — afraid for their human rights, their families, and their safety,” he said in a statement. “Our message to the White House, the country, and the rest of the world is clear: We proudly uphold the fundamental American promise that we are — and will be — a nation of hope, freedom, and opportunity for all.

In an interview, McDermott said he views the legislation not only as a response to Trump’s actions but also as an investment in the people of the county. “Almost one-fourth of our residents are foreign-born,” he said.

Seattle is spending $250,000 to help immigrants and refugees navigate life under the Trump administration, with a focus on children in the city’s public schools. Mayor Ed Murray announced the allocation in November, details of his plan were still being hammered out last month. The City Council adopted a resolution last month that says the city will work to create a legal-defense fund.