Tag Archives: Mayor Ed Murray

Seattle approves income tax on wealthy, mayor cites Trump agenda

thatcher
Expect this to be challenged in court.
And if Seattleites are so “progressive,” concerned about “equity” and justice,” and want to fight Trump’s agenda, why aren’t they coughing up their extra money in the first place?
From Fox News: Washington is one of seven states that does not have a personal income tax, but this week one of its cities approved one on just its wealthiest residents.
Late Monday the Seattle City Council voted unanimously in favor of a personal income tax on its top earning residents. Individuals with incomes in excess of $250,000 and those filing jointly with incomes in excess of $500,000 would be subject to a 2.25% tariff. People with incomes below those thresholds would not be affected.
Seattle believes the tax will raise around $140 million per year and could help close the wealth gap in the city, while the mayor also cited President Donald Trump’s economic agenda as a reason to introduce the tax.
“Seattle is challenging this state’s antiquated and unsustainable tax structure by passing a progressive income tax,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement on his website. “Our goal is to replace our regressive tax system with a new formula for fairness, while ensuring Seattle stands up to President Trump’s austere budget that cuts transportation, affordable housing, healthcare, and social services. This is a fight for economic stability, equity, and justice.
The measure was proposed earlier this year by a local activist group named Trump-Proof Seattle, according to Reuters. However, Trump-Proof Seattle’s proposal called for a more modest 1.5% tax, according to the organization’s website.
Due to the explosive growth of Seattle-based Amazon (AMZN), housing prices have skyrocketed in the area—and supporters believe the income tax could be used to expand affordable housing.
“Protecting our communities requires resources. We’re in a weak position to cope with cuts because of Washington State’s regressive tax system: lower-income households already pay high state and local taxes, and yet we can’t fund basic services like education … We can fight back by requiring the wealthiest households to pay a fairer share of taxes,” Trump-Proof Seattle’s site said.
However, critics say taxing high-earning entrepreneurs that have contributed to the entire nation’s economy will be “counter-productive.”
“You tax entrepreneurs more, you will get less entrepreneurs and less economic growth,” said Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, in an interview with FOX Business. “They will start gravitating to more business-friendly places such as Austin, Texas… high earners are [also] the most responsive to tax changes … Both the government and economy will end up losing from tax hikes as the tax base and the economy shrink.”
Despite the city’s support, the measure will likely face legal challenges. State law prohibits a city or county from taxing “net” income, though it fails to explicitly define exactly what “net” refers to.
But regardless of whether the measure is blocked in court, Seattle has been a pioneer on many progressive issues, including raising the minimum wage, and it could pave the way for other cities to enact progressive tax structures.
“I think this is part of a trend,” David Madland, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, told FOX Business. “Cities have done less of this so, I can imagine more and more cities will start to do things like this. The public is very supportive of raising taxes on the wealthy as a way to support public services.
Supporters say the tax would impact just 20,000 out of more than 660,000 Seattle residents. In addition to Washington, Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota Texas and Wyoming do not require residents to pay an income tax.
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Seattle to open a new homeless shelter where drugs and alcohol are allowed

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I’ve written about the major homelessness problem that Seattle, and its homosexual mayor Ed Murray, have tried to address. The good mayor has tried to address this by:

Their latest solution to help homeless people change their circumstances? Open a $2.7 million dollar facility where one is permitted to use alcohol and drugs. I wouldn’t bet that inviting these abuses will be a successful path for homeless people.
From Seattle Times: After a siting controversy and months of delay, Seattle’s first enhanced 24-hour shelter for homeless people will open to clients Wednesday.
Inside the newly refurbished facility in the Little Saigon neighborhood are sleeping cots with blue cushions that couples can push together, offices where clients will receive supportive services, and a mess hall for meals.
Staffers at the Navigation Center will spend the next days making last-minute preparations for the opening, said Greg Jensen, a spokesman for the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC), which the city has contracted to operate the facility.
About 20 homeless people already have been referred to the center by city outreach workers, Jensen said. “We anticipate that we’ll be seeing clients almost immediately,” he said.
Mayor Ed Murray put the process to develop the center in motion via a June 2016 executive order, saying that creating a shelter with services beyond those offered at traditional facilities was key to the city’s strategy.
But its development was rough going. A plan to open the center by the end of 2016 was scuttled when the city was unable to find a suitable site.
In February, city officials reached an agreement with the Seattle Indian Commission to lease the Pearl Warren building. The move displaced Operation Nightwatch, a mats-on-the-floor-style emergency shelter for homeless men that was leasing space in the building, and stirred up protest among residents of the surrounding community.
Advocates with neighborhood group Friends of Little Saigon continue to push back against the city, saying that the decision to site the center on the edge of the city’s Chinatown International District was reached without hearing views from local residents.
“There are many in the community who still don’t want it, but we know it’s going to open anyway,” said Quynh Pham, spokeswoman for Friends of Little Saigon. “At this point, we just want to have the city address concerns about this model and how the center will be run.”
City officials are betting that the center, with restrictions on entry eased and intensive services available, will become an asset for moving people indoors and out of conditions that are unsanitary and sometimes unsafe. People living in unauthorized tent encampments will initially be given top priority, officials said.
”It will allow us to reach those who are in the community of homeless people who have not been getting robust services,” said DESC director Dan Malone.
Modeled after a similar shelter in San Francisco’s Mission District, the center features laundry and storage facilities, showers and enough dormitory space to provide beds to about 75 people.
Unlike more restrictive shelters, clients will be able to store their belongings, bring along their pets and partners, and come and go when they like. While discouraged, drug and alcohol use inside the facility will be allowed unless it disturbs other clients or the surrounding community.
Once there, people who might have been unwilling or unable to take advantage of other shelter options will be pointed toward mental-health, addiction and housing services based on their needs, officials said.
How successful the center might be in moving people into permanent housing remains an open question. Similar shelters in San Francisco, which is experiencing its own crisis over affordable housing and visible homelessness, may serve as a rough guide.
Read the rest of the article here.
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Superwealthy entrepreneur Nick Hanauer decides to ‘go all out’ with property-tax levy campaign to fight Seattle homelessness

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A couple things to know about Nick Hanauer:

From Seattle Times: In his State of the City address, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced last week he would ask voters to approve a $275 million property-tax levy to combat homelessness. Murray cast the plan as his own, saying the city must double its homeless spending. Superwealthy entrepreneur Nick Hanauer, Murray explained, would help draw up the details.
Why Hanauer? The venture capitalist says his Seattle-based think tank brought the idea to Murray and has been working on it for the last year. “We just decided we were going to do something, and no one can stop that. And once that bus leaves the station, people can get on or get run over,” Hanauer said in an interview.
In recent years, Hanauer has backed winning campaigns to increase the state’s minimum wage and expand background-check requirements for gun buyers.
Now he has set his sights on helping the thousands of people who are struggling to survive on the streets of Seattle. “We came to the mayor and said, ‘We are throwing down on homelessness,’ ” he said. “We said, ‘We are going to take something big to the ballot.’ ”
The mayor was receptive, said Hanauer, who called the project a collaboration between his organization and City Hall. “Mayor Murray is a friend of mine, and it’s all connected,” Hanauer said. “This is not a secret plot. It’s a group of citizen activists and leaders thinking about what to do.”
The plan is to qualify the levy for the August ballot as a citizens’ initiative rather than as a city proposition by the mayor and council. The campaign would need to collect at least 20,638 valid voter signatures to do that. The measure would raise $275 million in property taxes over five years.
Hanauer says he’ll bankroll the levy campaign. “The thing that makes our contribution great is I can throw down and say I’m going to run an initiative. I can go all out,” he said.
I’m going to donate enough money to that campaign to make sure that we would win. It’s so far below the amount of money that I care about that,” Hanauer added. “It’s not a statewide campaign, so it’s not going to cost $10 million.”
Read the rest of the story here.
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Seattle and their "progressive" policies in action

Seattle is a true, blue progressive city. They’ve elected democrat mayors time and time again. The current mayor, Ed Murray, is a die-hard proggie. In 2013, The Seattle Times recommended voting for Murray as he “offers a return of pragmatic, effective leadership to City Hall.”
How’s that “pragmatic, effective leadership” working out? Let’s take a look and see what’s happening in Seattle, shall we?

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray


SEATTLE’S GUN TAX
Thanks to democrats’ new tax in Seattle, a gun store is packing up and moving out of Seattle.  Sergey Solyanik, owner of Precise Shooter, is closing his gun shop and moving it to Lynnwood (just north of Seattle) after a December 2015 court ruling gave Seattle approval to impose a tax on gun sales. See my post on that story here.
SEATTLE’S EFFECTIVENESS IN DEALING WITH CRIME
Last December I did a post about how some Seattle neighborhoods are hiring their own security because police are a rare sighting in their areas. A week later, I did another post on how Seattle neighborhoods started a petition for more police. The petition states that criminal activity has become an epidemic in the area, but police presence remains lacking, and response to 911 calls continues to be slow.
How did the good mayor respond?
Murray told KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz that the city is adequately staffing the police force, and is further expanding it. He also said, I inherited a police department that had basically stopped policing.” (Gee, where have I heard that phrase before?)
Maybe the mayor should paint more “rainbow” sidewalks to prevent crime.
Ed Murray and his rainbow sidewalks to prevent crimes.

Ed Murray and his rainbow sidewalks to prevent crimes.


SEATTTLE’S HOMELESSNESS PROBLEMS
The mayor issued an emergency order on homelessness in November and opened “safe lots” for homeless people living in RVs. Many residents aren’t happy with that at all.
"The Jungle" homeless camp in Seattle/AP Photo

“The Jungle” homeless camp in Seattle/AP Photo


The Jungle” is a homeless encampment area that is approximately 100 acres in size. From Wikipedia:The Jungle increasingly became a haven for criminals in the 2000s. Criminal activity has included assaults,  rapes, prostitution, and murders. Residences in the Beacon Hill neighborhood have been burglarized by those staying in The Jungle. Gang members basing drug trade in the woods also became a concern. The Jungle is generally considered unsafe at any hour. Just the other day, five people were shot (with two dead) at the The Jungle.
How did the good mayor respond?
He issued a statement (read his full statement here):

Mayor Murray calls for end of divisive rhetoric on homelessness. But this is a national tragedy. It should be a national emergency and it needs a national response. So part of what I am asking today is that we challenge each other to do better without denigrating each other.  Instead of cooperation and a shared voice, we have seen too much division and extreme rhetoric about who homeless people are and how to solve the crisis. The reality is, to provide emergency shelter to the almost 3,000 people that remain on our streets would cost us another 49 million dollars a year – or double our current investment.”

And without federal funding to find a solution for the homeless problem the mayor said, “We would have to slash programs throughout the city, layoff hundreds of employees to do that.”
Pragmatic! Effective!
electionshaveconsequences
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Thanks to democrats' new tax, gun store is packing up and moving out of Seattle

Shocker, not.

Seattle Council President Tim Burgess

Seattle Council President Tim Burgess


Last August I told you about how the Seattle City Council passed a “gun violence” tax to the dismay of store owner Sergey Solyanik and other supporters of the Second Amendment. Sponsor of the tax, Council President Tim Burgess, had said the tax of $25 per gun and 2 or 5 cents per round of ammunition is expected to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars annually that will be set aside for gun-violence-prevention research and programs.
King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson

King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson


On December 24th, King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson judge upheld the tax, rejecting a challenge from the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups.
Now a store owner, after telling the City of Seattle he would do so, is making good on his word. Beginning Jan. 1, Seattle’s Precise Shooter gun store stopped selling firearms and ammo. And now the owner is moving the store out of town.
MyNorthwest.com reports that Sergey Solyanik, owner of Precise Shooter, is closing his gun shop and moving it to Lynnwood (just north of Seattle) after a recent court ruling gave Seattle approval to impose a tax on gun sales.
Solyanik opposed the tax and said it would harm his business. “It would make us unprofitable,” he said. “I calculated it by retroactively applying the tax to our existing sales — I’m a software developer, so I can do that — and we would be operating at a loss for the entire store.”
Solyanik said he has no intention of contributing any tax money to the city.  “We are all disappointed,” he said. “We feel that, basically, a crockpot politician was trying to buttress his ‘progressive’ credentials and we got run over. Burgess doesn’t expect any money from this. In fact, there will be a net loss for this city. This location brings in roughly $50,000 in sales tax revenue, so that is all going to be gone next year. And there is not going to be any revenue from the (gun) tax.”
government solve all problems
Precise Shooter remains open to sell cleaning supplies and other equipment, but will not sell firearms or ammo that are now taxed in Seattle. Solyanik said he will operate the shop as such until his business license is approved for a new store in Lynnwood. Precise Shooter is one of few businesses that specializes in, and primarily sells firearms.
Solyanik likens the gun tax to alcohol consumption, which he argues harms more people in the United States than guns. “We don’t say that an average person is responsible for the violence fueled by alcohol, but for some reason people feel that gun owners should be held to a different standard than themselves,” he said. “I think people are afraid of things they don’t know and understand and vilify people they don’t know and understand.”
And because Solyanik understands how criminals work, he said, “People who shoot up people in the streets — they don’t come here to get guns. They get them on the streets,” Solyanik said. “It’s just collective punishment for all of us.”
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