Barely one month after Seattle's genius decision to tax its best business assets, city leaders are ready to pull the plug.
Remember this story from just four weeks ago? Seattle unanimously approved a so-called "head tax" on big companies like Amazon and Starbucks supposedly to pay to solve the city's homeless crisis. Seattle has the third highest homeless rate in the nation.
The "head tax" was set to begin next January and would collect from businesses that gross at least $20 million annually. At first, the city proposed a $500 tax per full-time employee at those companies, but they walked that back to $275. The city estimated this would raise them a cool $48 million to put toward homeless services. Seattle will spend $78 million on homelessness this year alone.
Media reports are pinning the city's change of heart on Amazon's strong-armed resistance to the tax. But multiple businesses, including Amazon and Starbucks, have sponsored a campaign called "No Tax On Jobs," to get a referendum on the ballot this November that would get rid of the tax. Now it looks like a referendum won't be necessary.
Seattle's Democratic mayor said the city council heard the protests from companies and don't want to engage in "a prolonged, expensive political fight over the next five months that will do nothing to tackle our urgent housing and homelessness crisis." So, the City Council voted yesterday to repeal the tax.
One socialist city council member called the repeal of this tax, "a capitulation to bullying by Amazon and other big business." She called it a "complete betrayal of working people."
Also, if you're spending $78 million on homelessness this year, it may be time to reassess your spending habits.
Actually, wasn't this tax plan more of a betrayal of working people?
The showdown in Seattle is a classic case of progressive big government trying to throw money at a problem like homelessness with a strategy that would hurt a company's ability to hire (or worse, cause layoffs).
Also, if you're spending $78 million on homelessness this year, it may be time to reassess your spending habits. The top three U.S. cities with the largest homeless populations are New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle. When will voters in those cities realize there just might be a slight correlation between progressive governments and their homeless problem?