Tag Archives: Kshama Sawant

Is the City of Seattle going to ruin their economy with the new head tax?

government solve all problems

Last week the Seattle City Council approved a new head tax on big businesses. The tax is an amount businesses pay per employee ($275 per year), with a sunset clause of 2023 (don’t hold your breath that this tax will actually cease to exist at that time). The head tax was approved by a unanimous vote.

I’ve told you what has led up to this head tax vote. See the following:

Amazon had strong words for the Seattle City Council as it questions its future in the city. “We are disappointed by today’s City Council decision to introduce a tax on jobs,” Amazon Vice President Drew Herdener said in a statement.

More from King5 News:

“Herdener said Amazon, which had paused planning on two downtown Seattle office towers pending the outcome of the vote, would resume construction planning on one of them — Block 18. The 17-story building, which will have 1 million square feet of office space, is meant to house between 7,000 and 8,000 new employees.

But he said Herdener then went on to suggest Amazon’s expansion in the city may be curtailed.“While we have resumed construction planning for Block 18, we remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council’s hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses, which forces us to question our growth here.”

Herdener then turned the tables, suggesting the people holding the city’s purse strings are the problem.

“City of Seattle revenues have grown dramatically from $2.8B in 2010 to $4.2B in 2017, and they will be even higher in 2018. This revenue increase far outpaces the Seattle population increase over the same time period. The city does not have a revenue problem – it has a spending efficiency problem. We are highly uncertain whether the city council’s anti-business positions or its spending inefficiency will change for the better,” Herdener said.”

Starbucks also wasn’t too happy and had harsh words for the city:

“The company released this statement, attributed to John Kelly, senior vice president of Global Public Affairs and Social Impact at Starbucks:

This City continues to spend without reforming and fail without accountability, while ignoring the plight of hundreds of children sleeping outside. If they cannot provide a warm meal and safe bed to a five year-old child, no one believes they will be able to make housing affordable or address opiate addiction. This City pays more attention to the desires of the owners of illegally parked RVs than families seeking emergency shelter.”

Author Travis H. Brown, MBA (read about his background here), predicts that the council just voted to ruin their economy. Travis is the author of several books including “How Money Walks.”

Travis wrote an opinion on Saturday entitled, “How Seattle’s new tax to fight homelessness could ruin its economy.”

Travis describes the city’s actions as shortsighted and a zero-sum game that will do more harm than good.

Excerpts from his piece at MSN:

“These are laudable aims (end homelessness and build affordable housing), but it’s hard to imagine a more destructive strategy for realizing them. The potential damage to Seattle’s economy from this blunt instrument runs into the billions of dollars. Some may believe that California businesses could still flee their high-tax environment for Seattle, but in reality, Seattle is competing with many other cities for this income. One example is Phoenix, which has posted the best income growth of any Metropolitan Statistic Area (MSA) since 1992. Phoenix has capitalized on its proximity to California by luring businesses and people with a low-tax environment that nets them $1,539 in income every single minute. Compared to Seattle, this is nearly $1,200 more per minute, or $70,348 more per day. The numbers are staggering, and Seattle can’t risk putting itself further behind.

Seattle’s $20 million benchmark for the new tax refers to gross receipts, not income, meaning it will hit high-volume, low-margin businesses (think grocery stores or construction wholesalers) just as hard as more lucrative counterparts, promising price increases for consumers as businesses pass along costs. Service industries with big headcounts are firmly in the crosshairs, threatening this key employment category for young and low-skilled workers.

Amazon isn’t the only big employer eyeing the exits. Real estate portal Zillow, another new economy trailblazer, faces millions in additional tax burden. Alaska Airlines, Expedia, PayScale, Whitepages Inc., and Coinstar opposed the tax in vain, pleading in an open letter to the city council and mayor that taxing companies for creating jobs is like “telling a classroom that the students who do the most homework will be singled out for detention.”

Perhaps the most frustrating part of this exercise in illogic is the city government’s failure to enact other commonsense measures to combat homelessness: zoning reforms and infrastructure improvements to facilitate construction of affordable housing; shifting funds from underperforming shelters to ones that deliver; and coordination of the city’s homeless strategy with other municipalities in King County.”

Read his whole opinion piece here.

The background of the Seattle council members:

  • Lisa Herbold: Has been working for government politicians and government agencies since 1997.
  • Bruce Harrell: An attorney who began working in “public service” in 1979 by working for the Seattle City Council.
  • Kshama Sawant: A SOCIALIST.
  • Rob Johnson: A progressive urban planner and transportation advocate who spent ten years working for a statewide nonprofit coalition before working for government agencies.
  • Debora Juarez: A lawyer who concentrated on providing legal and financial counsel to Native American tribes.
  • Mike O’Brien: Served as CFO for a law firm prior to election to city council in 2009. He likes to silence constituents.
  • Sally Bagshaw: First elected to the council in 2009. She began her legal career by working for government agencies and has been working in the public sector since.
  • Teresa Mosqueda: Came to Seattle City Council following a long career effectively advocating for working families.
  • Lorena Gonzalez: Came to Seattle City Council with a decade of experience as a civil rights attorney and community advocate.

Somehow I don’t doubt that business leaders at Amazon, Starbucks (and all the other businesses against this head tax) and Travis know more about Econ 101 than any of the professional advocates/public servants and taxpayer money grabbers on the Seattle City Council.

DCG

Classless socialist: Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant becomes unhinged with Women’s March tweet about Barbara Bush

kshama sawant tweet

Remember folks, #LoveTrumpsHate!

The left always reveal their vile, hypocritical souls while claiming to be the party of “tolerance” and “pro-women.”

Yet time and time and time again they show they are bullies to anyone who doesn’t share their political ideology.

That is the case of Seattle councilmember and socialist Kshama Sawant.

After Barbara Bush passed away, the Women’s March (whom we are no fans of) tweeted the following: “Rest in peace and power, Barbara Bush.”

Short, sweet and polite.

But the socialist was having NONE OF THAT. The councilmember tweeted the following:

“This is terrible. @womensmarch organizers have helped lead historic protests since Trump’s election but this tweet shows how, without a political compass, even well-meaning progressives can end up giving cover to ruling class & ultimately undermining struggles against oppression.”

Classy.

Best part is the reaction (of which the MAJORITY did not approve of her tweet) by many proggies. Here’s some examples:

“What is wrong with you? The woman died. It’s not like she was a dictator. There’s nothing wrong with expressing condolences.”

“You’re Politics is sick with resentment, and anger. Explains why we have seen little as far as solutions to our homeless explosion, but a significant increase in vitriolic political rhetoric.”

“This is an incredibly troubling message, Councilmember. You have a rude awakening coming for your re-election. I’d highly suggest you start focusing on the ISSUES in your district and not dissing on a Women’s group expressing their thoughts of someone that passed away.”

“This is beyond pathetic. Have a little bit of respect. If it was you in mourning, even those of us who despise you, would be sympathetic to the pain your loss would cause your loved ones. You seriously need a lesson in humility.”

“You are disgusting (and I’m trying to be nice – maybe I shouldn’t since you aren’t). What you did is exactly against women!! It shouldn’t matter what side of the political spectrum someone is for the women’s march to express condolences.”

“Kshama…you lost your voters by this simple tweet.”

“Imagine if someone said that about your mother, daughter, sister… How utterly disturbing your comment is.

“you are an embarrassment to the city of seattle and state of washington.”

“Shame on you!”

Not a good look for you, Seattle voters. Remember this during Sawant’s next re-election campaign.

DCG

Socialist Seattle councilmember wants to double proposed head tax

sawant2

Cough up more money you rich businesses!

There’s never enough of your money that Seattle proggies and socialists can’t get their hands on.

From MyNorthwest.com: If Amazon can afford to spend billions on a second headquarters, it can surely afford to pay a head tax.

That was the sentiment from Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who wants the proposed tax on the wealthiest 10 percent of businesses in the city to be increased from $100 per employee to $200.

Council members Mike O’Brien and Kirsten Harris-Talley proposed a head tax for approximately 2,200 businesses who gross receipts value is at least $5 million per year. They say a business would pay an additional 5 cents an hour per employee to help “alleviate Seattle’s homelessness crisis.”

The two proposed the tax during the city’s budget process. If approved, the tax would have an effective date of early 2019. It would raise between $20 million and $25 million each year, according to O’Brien.

But why not up the ante? Sawant says.

Assuming the tax was increased from $100 to $200 per employee, Sawant says the city could raise at least $50 million a year. Amazon would pay about $8 million a year; not much when you consider the company’s yearly revenue, she says.

“That is less than six parts in thousand of one percent of their 2016 revenue,” she said. She added the fractions are “so small, it doesn’t even make sense. “It’s 1/625th of the money they … intend to use to build a new campus.”

Sawant proposed increasing the tax on Election Day.

The company announced earlier this year that it would invest $5 billion and create as many as 50,000 jobs.  If approved, the tax would fund affordable housing projects and emergency services.

There has been pushback from the business community. Many have voiced concern over the tax in a city that is already costly to operate in. Not every business is as wealthy as Amazon, after all.

“I urge you to abandon the idea of a head tax,” Bartell Drugs chair George Bartell wrote in a statement. “We are a significant employer here in Seattle and we reached a breaking point on the city-imposed fees and costs. Instead, I ask you to spend the money already raised for homelessness prudently and effectively and that you continue to partner with the significant number of non-profit organizations that are rallying to confront this issue.”

DCG

Tax dollars at work: Seattle to defend loud mouth socialist Sawant in defamation lawsuit

sawant always screaming

Socialist Sawant…always screaming about something.

Did you really believe that a socialist would cough up her own money?

From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell decided the city will defend Councilmember Kshama Sawant in a defamation lawsuit brought against her by two city officers.

The Seattle Times reported Thursday that in a letter Bruce Harrell explains his reasoning that Sawant “was speaking about issues important to her constituents.”

By city charter, Harrell had to decide if Sawant made the alleged statement “within the course and scope of employment.”

In the lawsuit, officers Scott Miller and Michael Spaulding claim they were defamed when Sawant falsely declared they had committed a “brutal murder” in last year’s fatal shooting of Che Taylor (read about that here).

The city also is representing Sawant in a separate defamation lawsuit brought by a property-owner who took issue with Sawant referring to him as a “notorious slumlord.”

Assistant City Attorney Joe Groshong has said he wouldn’t be surprised if total litigation costs exceeded $300,000 in both lawsuits.

DCG

Two police officers suing socialist Seattle councilmember Kshama Sawant for her irresponsible comments

sawant always screaming

Socialist Sawant…maybe having to pay for spreading lies will help keep her mouth shut.

Good. This socialist has been blabbing false truths since she took office.

From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle police officers Scott Miller and Detective Michael Spaulding are suing Kshama Sawant as an individual for “having their reputations ruined by an ambitious politician, doing so for personal gain.”

The lawsuit, filed by Williams, Kastney and Gibbs, claims Sawant, acting beyond her scope as a city councilmember, personally defamed the two officers who were involved in the shooting death against Che Taylor after he allegedly pulled a gun on them. A gun was found at the scene and a witness corroborates the story from Miller and Spaulding. A King County inquest jury found that Taylor, indeed, posed a threat of death or serious injury to these two officers.

According to the filing, “…having never spoken to the officers, their attorney, the department, and with the investigation still incomplete, Kshama Sawant was publicly pronouncing these officers ‘murderers’ and referring to the shooting as a product of ‘racial profiling.’ As a consequence of her rhetoric, the lawsuit alleges the officers were “publicly berated and chastised” and Miller had to move.

“Citizens of this community have this right (to file the lawsuit),” said Kevin Stuckey, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild. “Kshama Sawant said those things but it’s up to a jury to decide.”

This is the second lawsuit filed against Sawant this month. Carl Haglund’s attorney says Sawant introduced a law prohibiting landlords from raising rents for buildings that do not meet basic maintenance standards. She referred to the legislation as “the Carl Haglund law.”

DCG

City Council decides Seattle landlords must give voter-registration info to new renters

life for dummies

Apparently council members believe residents are too stupid to type “how to register to vote in Seattle” into a browser search. Maybe people who can’t figure out how to register to vote shouldn’t be voting. Just a thought…

From Seattle Times: Landlords will be required to provide new tenants with voter-registration information under a new ordinance approved by the Seattle City Council. The council voted 6-0 on Monday to approve Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s proposal. Three council members, Mike O’Brien, M. Lorena González and Tim Burgess, were absent.

Property owners already are required to give tenants an information packet on housing laws, prepared by the city’s Department of Construction and Inspections. Landlords have the option of downloading the packet online and printing it out.

Now, landlords will need to add voter-registration information to the packet. It will take effect 30 days after Mayor Ed Murray signs it, according to a council spokesman.

Studies have shown that people on the move vote at lower rates, the ordinance says. While 41 percent of renters in their homes for more than five years reported voting in 2014, only 21 percent who had lived in their homes for less than one year reported voting, the ordinance says, citing U.S. Census Bureau data.

Seattle is the fastest-growing big city in the country, according to a Seattle Times analysis of Census Bureau data released this past month. From July 2015 through July 2016, the city had a net gain of nearly 21,000 people — 57 per day, on average.

Representatives from a number of community and nonprofit organizations supported Sawant’s proposal, including the Tenants Union of Washington, the Capitol Hill Community Council, The Washington Bus and LGBTQ Allyship.

The proposal has met with a mixed reaction from landlord groups.

A statement on the Rental Housing Association of Washington’s website questions why the measure to boost voter participation involves only renters. “While homeowners are more likely to be registered, data also shows that far less than 100% of homeowners are registered,” the website notes. “City voter registration outreach, at a starting point, should be enhanced by including this same information with all utility bills, at all city-endorsed events, and included with all city emails.

“Council should also consider requiring that voter registration information be included with all residential real estate transactions.”

Brett Waller, spokesman for the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association, which represents larger landlords and property managers, sees value in what the council did and in thinking more broadly about how to reach potential voters.

“Can property managers help increase voter registration by providing one packet containing the summary of laws and voter registration information to tenants? Absolutely,” Waller said in an email.

“We are engaging with the city now to ensure implementation is easy and straightforward for our members. In fairness, property managers are not the only vehicle by which prospective voters can obtain information on how to vote, and we certainly don’t want to be unduly penalized.

DCG

Socialist Seattle council member urges Seattle Seahawks to hire Colin Kaepernick

kaepernick sawant tweet

Sawant’s message to the Seahawks

Don’t hire him because of his football skills, rather it is his SJW skillz that matter.

From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant has weighed in on issues from the minimum wage to taxing the rich. But now she’s speaking up on something new — the Seahawks.

Sawant penned a letter Friday to Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll and owner Paul Allen in support of bringing Colin Kaepernick onto the team. “I am writing to convey that Colin Kaepernick would be welcome in Seattle, and to encourage you to take the opportunity to sign him as the Seahawks’ backup quarterback,” Sawant writes.

“I am not a football expert,” she continues. “But everything I have read strongly suggests that the only reason a player with Kaepernick’s skills is still a free agent is because of the backlash against his courageous leadership last year against racism, brutality, and discrimination. If that makes other teams wary of signing him, shame on them. In Seattle, we know our communities will only benefit from his activism as well as his talents on the field.”

As the Seahawks hunt for a backup quarterback, Kaepernick’s name has been among those considered for the job. Without any official word on his chances with the Seattle team, he has already received support of teammates such as Michael Bennett. Kaepernick made headlines last year when he opted to kneel during the national anthem, drawing attention to racial inequality in America.

Sawant’s letter continues, citing social justice issues she is passionate about and relates them to the quarterback. She ends by saying that it would “be a poor message” for the Seahawks to send to young people if Kaepernick was not able to be signed to a team after taking a knee.

The rest of Sawant’s letter reads:

“As you know, Colin Kaepernick has been widely recognized as a leader amongst professional athletes for speaking out on social justice issues that are vital to the lives and livelihoods of regular working people, many of whom are Seahawks fans. His courage in openly and defiantly supporting the Black Lives Matter movement is not without precedent; indeed, it is reminiscent of Tommie Smith and John Carlos’s historic stance for black freedom on the podium of the 1968 Olympic Games, and Muhammad Ali’s refusal to participate in the war in Vietnam.

Around the country, ordinary people, activists, and especially young people, have been inspired by Kaepernick’s opposition to racism, and his broad support of social justice. He has supported Meals on Wheels and other anti-hunger programs, and has spoken out against bigotry and the scapegoating of Muslims. He has provided key support to grassroots social justice organizations, including Silicon Valley De-Bug, Causa Justa/Just Cause, Urban Underground, Black Youth Project 100, Mothers Against Police Brutality, Gathering for Justice, Communities United for Police Reform, and the I Will Not Die Young Campaign.

From the fight for a $15/hour minimum wage, to the struggle for affordable housing, to the movement against police brutality, Seattle’s working people and young people have led the nation in this new era of social movements. I agree wholeheartedly with Michael Bennett that Seattle is the perfect place for Kaepernick. The NFL has an influence on the ideas and attitudes of young people. As you assemble your team, it would be a poor message for you to send to young people that speaking out against racism, police violence, and economic inequality is ‘toxic’ and will be punished rather than applauded.

The working people of Seattle and our youth will be proud to welcome Colin Kaepernick. Please do everything in your power to sign him to the Seahawks. Thank you for your time and consideration.”

DCG