Tag Archives: Seattle City Council

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after the first meeting, Constantine said the task force was in response to a city property tax proposed, then withdrawn, last year by former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray for homeless services.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

DCG

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Costco suggests shoppers go to Tukwila to avoid Seattle’s beverage tax

costco sign

Hey Seattle: Save your money on studying how the soda tax will affect businesses, after you implemented the new tax. Here’s an example of what the outcome will be.

I just saved the taxpayers $500,000!

From Matt Day at the Seattle Times: Costco Wholesale has some alternatives at the ready if shoppers feel sticker shock from Seattle’s new tax on sugary beverages. Essentially, consider shopping outside Seattle.

Signs apparently posted in the retailer’s Seattle store explain that the newly taxed items are also available at Costco locations in Tukwila and Shoreline.

A notice, spotted by the Washington Policy Center advocacy group, appears alongside a pack of Gatorade that received a bit of internet fame this week as people passed on the image of the tax markup.

Costco priced the 35-unit case at $15.99. Seattle’s new 1.75 cents-an-ounce tax, when applied against that nearly 600 ounces of the Pepsi-owned brand of sports drink, comes to $10.34, for a grand total of $26.33.

“When it expresses itself as a penny and three quarters, the tax is not a big deal,” said John McKay, chief operating officer for Costco’s Northern Division. But, as in Costco’s jumbo packs of soda and sports drinks, “when you multiply it out by many ounces, it becomes a bigger deal.”

“We feel an obligation to let people know what [the tax] is, and let people know it’s only in Seattle,” McKay said of the signage mentioning the tax. “Our real intent was to educate members.”

The Washington Policy Center joined store owners and beverage industry unions in opposing the tax. Proponents said the new levy is aimed at discouraging consumption of sugary drinks, which have been linked to a range of health problems.

DCG

City of Seattle settles sex abuse lawsuit with one of former Mayor Murray’s accuser

Ed Murray with husband Michael Shiosaki

For background information related to the disgraced homosexual Ed Murray, see here:

Via King5 News: The City of Seattle has reached a $150,000 settlement with one of the men who accused Ed Murray, the former mayor, of sexual abuse.

Delvonn Heckard is one of five men who accused Murray of sexual abuse.  Heckard’s attorney, Lincoln Beauregard, released a statement after the settlement. It says, in part, “The case was never about the money, but the settlement funds will greatly assist Mr. Heckard in his recovery.”

Heckard’s attorneys intend to donate 100-percent of the attorney fees to sexual assault recovery organizations.

Heckard had filed suit against the mayor earlier this year, accusing him of molesting him when Heckard was a teenager in the 1980s. Heckard’s attorneys had decided to withdraw the suit, saying they will re-file the case after the mayor was out the office to prevent him from using his position of power to further his side.

Murray resigned from his position in September, and Heckard refiled his suit in October. The suit claims Murray paid Heckard for sex on multiple occasions in the 1980s when he was a teenager.

The City of Seattle was also named in the lawsuit. Heckard says the city allowed Murray to use his position of power to “spread false and harmful information about Delvonn, and his attorneys, in an effort to win reelection and extinguish these claims.

Heckard is one of five men who have now come forward claiming they were sexually abused by Murray in the 1970s and 1980s, including one of Murray’s cousins who claimed he was abused by Murray as a boy. Murray said the accusations are false, which he maintained after the city’s settlement was announced.

“I am relieved to put this matter behind me; however, that relief is bittersweet, tempered by the painful experience we have all undergone,” Murray said in a released statement. “The lawsuit was painful for me, my husband, my family, and my former staff because the allegations were untrue. I did not molest or have any sexual contact with the plaintiff. I was prepared to defend myself in court (as I have been doing at my own expense), but wholeheartedly agree with the City’s decision to pay $150,000 to avoid the cost and uncertainty of litigation.

The following is the full statement by Heckard’s attorney:

“Delvonn Heckard is appreciative of, and accepts, the City of Seattle’s offer to amicably resolve this matter and bring this community some peace at the end of this difficult year. As a result of the professionalism and kindness of the City’s current leadership, particularly Mayor Jenny Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes, the parties were able to resolve this matter for the terms set forth in the settlement agreement.

This case was never about the money, but the settlement funds will greatly assist Mr. Heckard in his continued recovery. Mr. Heckard’s attorneys intend to donate 100% of the attorney fees to sexual assault recovery organizations. Lincoln C. Beauregard and Julie A. Kays will donate $25,000 to the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center. Lawand Anderson will donate $12,500 to the Harborview Sexual Assault & Trauma Unit, and another $12,500 to the Silent Task Force.”

DCG

Liberal logic: After passing new soda tax, Seattle to spend $500K to study the effect on businesses

government solve all problems

Shoot first, then aim.

All Seattle proggies had to do was look at what happened in Philadelphia after they passed a soda tax (layoffs and plunging sales).

In June, the Seattle City Council approved a new soda tax that goes into effect on January 1. Proggie councilmember Tim Burgess said this: “The scientific evidence is incontrovertible … sugar-sweetened beverage consumption leads to negative health outcomes. Communities of color and young people are disproportionately targeted by the beverage industry’s advertising and marketing campaigns. Black children and teens see twice as many ads for soda and other sweetened beverages compared to white children and other teens.”

The new soda tax places a .0175 per ounce fee on sweetened beverages. The tax is paid for by distributors but you know they will pass the cost onto the customer.

The city estimates it will raise more than $23 million from the tax in 2018, which it intends to put toward reducing the academic achievement gap between white and minority students, as well as expand access to healthy food.

Jason Rantz at MyNorthwest.com reports that the city of Seattle is reportedly spending $500,000 to fund a UW study to look into the impacts of the soda tax on, in part, businesses, because the business community has stated this is bad for them.

Don’t be surprised if after spending a half million taxpayer dollars, the city undermines the study, such as they did with a minimum wage study earlier this year, to cover the true effects of this new tax.

That’s liberal logic for ‘ya!

DCG

Bloodsuckers: Seattle council approves tax on Airbnb rentals

self licking ice cream cone

As I’ve told you – here, here and here – there’s never enough money that Seattle demorats can’t get their hands on.

From Seattle Times: The Seattle City Council voted Monday to tax operators of short-term rentals, such as those listed on Airbnb. Beginning in 2019, the city will impose taxes of $14 per night for entire homes and $8 per night for rooms.

In addition to paying for the city to set up and administer the tax*, the proceeds will be used to support community-initiated development projects and create affordable housing, according to the ordinance.

(*Self-licking ice cream cone n. a process, department, institution, or other thing that offers few benefits and exists primarily to justify or perpetuate its own existence.)

The council was scheduled to also vote Monday on regulations for the short-term rental industry. But Councilmember Rob Johnson persuaded four of his colleagues to join him in voting to refer that legislation back to his land-use committee for additional discussion.

As now proposed, the regulatory ordinance would require all short-term rental operators to obtain a license and would cap the number of short-term rentals operated by a single person or company at two.

People and companies operating short-term rentals before Sept. 30 of this year in an area including downtown, Uptown and South Lake Union would be exempt from the cap.

There may be debate at the committee level about where the boundaries of the exempted area should be and whether listing platforms such as Airbnb should pay fees.

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