Tired of taxes? “Junction Rebellion” just announced

One day after Tax Deadline Day, the merchants of the West Seattle Junction Association have just announced a plan to free you from (sales) taxes for a day – the “Junction Rebellion.” Tax-free shopping – in other words, the store pays the tax, not you – with other discounts and promotions, are planned for participating merchants (see the poster) on Saturday, April 25th.

3:46 PM UPDATE: After some commenters asked whether this was tied to yesterday’s “tea party” protests around the country, WSJA’s Susan Melrose asked us to share this message:

The purpose of this promotion was to generate shopping in The Junction for the benefit of our retail members in this trying economy. It was in no way intended to be construed as a political statement, and the timing was inadvertent and unfortunate for our intention (we planned this 2 weeks ago). One of the Junction Association’s core values is to support community and the true intention behind this promotion is nothing more than to have a fun shopping day in The Junction, enjoy living local, and have merchants pick up the tab on sales tax. Sorry for overcomplicating a simple neighborhood sale! To contact me directly: susan@wsjunction.org

21 Replies to "Tired of taxes? "Junction Rebellion" just announced"

  • James Couture April 16, 2009 (12:16 pm)

    This sort of made me sad. Sure, it’s just a sale effectively, but it ties itself to an anti-tax push that has effectively right-wing political overtones. I know small business hate taxes, but this sale bordered on political activism that I don’t appreciate.

    I guess I might as well know which stores share my politics and which don’t, but honestly, I’d rather not know. These store owners have a vote and they have money to donate to political campaigns. I’m not sure why they make my shopping experience part of that calculus. Is that really what they want?

    The whole idea of this particular sale seems either not to have been thought through, or to have been a declaration of political sympathies. It was probably a bit of both, depending on the store. Either way, it’s just uncomfortable.

  • WSB April 16, 2009 (12:18 pm)

    FWIW, tax-free promotions have been fairly common in the retail world lately – if you check out our sidebar ads for Honda of Seattle and Toyota of Seattle, for example, they’ve been promoting “no sales tax” for the past month … TR

  • Melissa April 16, 2009 (12:24 pm)

    Eloquently said, James. The tax-free sales aren’t a problem for me, but I know that the business is still taxed, so the discount comes out of the businesses hide. They still pay the government. And you know what? I’m HAPPY to pay my taxes! They pay for my roads, for the fact that the fire department and police come when I have an emergency, for schools, and for the upholding of the Constitution that the so-called tax rebels claim to be in favor of. Granted, the tax structure in this state is lousy (and yes, I think an income tax IS the right answer), but it’s not taxes themselves that are inherently bad. Hmph. So there!

  • Kyle Barber April 16, 2009 (12:26 pm)

    I have a hard time believing all these small businesses in West Seattle are sympathetic to the right-wing nonsense themed around tea parties. But if they are, I’d like to know so I can take my business elsewhere.

  • Alan April 16, 2009 (12:27 pm)

    Hmm, the State isn’t going to forgive these businesses their tax obligations for sales on the 25th. Let’s thank these stores for giving us a discount and bearing the cost for us!

    I agree that it gives me pause to think when a business goes out of its way to promote the owners/workers politics. While it’s unclear that this is tied to conservative politics, it’s refreshing to see since if it is somewhat political, it’s not blatantly from the Left.

  • ikahana April 16, 2009 (12:52 pm)

    I agree – very well said James. My first reaction was a sinking feeling in my stomach. I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt – this is all in fun and a way to promote business, but it seems to be riding on the coattails of the creepy teabagger movement, and I don’t like that.

    And I know it is just a silly one liner on a poster, but description of the original Boston Tea Party is pretty simplistic if not just plain wrong.

  • Angela April 16, 2009 (12:54 pm)

    I lost my job recently. Since than I have only been spending money on things I NEED(i.e. food), and all I have to say, is that with everything that has been going on lately (i.e. job losses), it is my opinion that this one day will possibly boost sales for some of these businesses. This has become a time of necessity. Take Menashe’s for example. Think of the sales tax alone on a piece of jewelry bought there. Not having to pay that could be the difference in someone being able to afford an engagement ring. Curious Kidstuff and Funky Jane’s are also good examples. People aren’t able to buy things for their children or buy clothes for themselves as these things have become somewhat extraneous. This day could help bridge the gap. If you don’t approve of the “politics” involved or you just simply enjoy paying taxes that much, don’t shop in the Junction that day! Simple as that. I for one, am grateful that these businesses are thinking of those in my situation right now. This is just one more thing I like about West Seattle and its residents. We all try to look out for one another.

  • DW April 16, 2009 (1:01 pm)

    It sounds like this is more about getting people to shop than making any kind of political statement. Lots of merchants doing this kind of thing to get people in the door.

  • Mike April 16, 2009 (1:19 pm)

    People seem to forget the Boston Tea Party was in rebellion against a country they no longer recognized as their own. The people running around with signs today are going against their own country. The tax here does not go to Britain.

  • KH April 16, 2009 (1:20 pm)

    I agree with James and Ikahana. This is an unfortunate association of promotion with the teabagger political message. More importantly for the merchants, I am LESS likely as a result of that association to shop in the Junction on that day.

  • KBear April 16, 2009 (1:43 pm)

    There is no such thing as tax free shopping in Washington, unless the state declares a tax holiday. Of course, if merchants advertised the actual discount, it wouldn’t sound like much of a sale.

  • erin April 16, 2009 (3:02 pm)

    I am one of the merchants participating in the no tax day. I don’t think most of us knew how the day was going to be marketed. We were asked if we wanted to participate, but I saw the poster at the same time as everyone else. I saw the day as similar to tax holidays New York has had to stimulate shopping and the economy. True, the merchants are paying the tax, but it is better to encourage sales with a collective promotion than to markdown our products to the point of zero profits. We are all so use to the sale signs in the windows now, that it really takes something different to put us on peoples radar and bring people through the door. So don’t over think it, it’s supposed to help us and benefit you.

  • OP April 16, 2009 (4:24 pm)

    Tax-free days and events are common place in retail and in states across the U.S. I know; I work in retail. It is what it is. It has ZERO to do with “right-wing nonsense” or ‘tea parties; it’s about “encouraging sales through a collective promotion” as erin said. And besides, why on earth any one is hunky dorey with paying taxes (or more taxes) because or doesn’t like a tax break is beyond me.

    The tax here does not go to Britain.

    Yes, it goes some place far worse: into the hands of politicians who in turn shove down into financial pits and black holes….

  • ljd April 16, 2009 (4:27 pm)

    man oh man, what an idiotic promotion!!! if the promoters of this didn’t see that liberal West Seattle would associate this with the right-wing teabagger movement – coordinated by Fox News – they should pick up a newspaper! At this point tea parties are a joke… and so is this promotion.

  • S5 April 16, 2009 (4:42 pm)

    Crikey – do you all get this bent out of shape when IKEA has their twice a year tax-free days? It’s a promotion people, not a political statement.

  • Alan April 16, 2009 (4:50 pm)

    Does the west seattle blog allow anyone to use sexual terms to refer to political statements or only those on the Left?

  • Carole April 16, 2009 (9:59 pm)

    Well, as for the Honda and Toyota ads, those are tax-free on certain hybrids only, and that is because the STATE has waived sales tax on purchase of a car EPA rated at 40mpg or more – basically that’s probably Insight, Prius or Smart. So the break there is coming from the state, not the merchants. I see the Junction promotion as trying to promote sales, though references to “rebellion” and the Boston Tea party were awfully tone-deaf if no one saw the potential for political backlash.

  • jeannie April 17, 2009 (1:41 am)

    Please get over it, people! Regardless of what you think of Faux News’ teabaggers, this is simply a nice incentive for us to patronize our local merchants and save some signicant bucks.

  • Huindekmi April 17, 2009 (8:10 am)

    I have to agree with both sides.
    Tax free sales are nice. A quick 9% discount on everything in the store. It’s like shopping in Portland.
    But this has been poorly marketed. With “Rebellion” and tea party references prominently featured, there is an inevitable tie-in with the moronic teabagger protests conceived, sponsored and promoted by far-right wing media. And that left a sour taste in my mouth.
    While I don’t want to punish local merchants, I also don’t want to partake in a teabagger protest.

  • Gary April 17, 2009 (11:37 pm)

    Political activism? Really? Looks like a sales promo to me. People sad and uncomfortable about this ad = Glen Becks of the Left. Lets be open our minds, be more accepting and celebrate our diversity!

  • Michael April 20, 2009 (12:54 pm)

    Sometimes a promo is just a promo.

    Lots of businesses have done tax-time discounts. Please don’t smear this by tying it with the Fox News-promoted “grassroots” publicity stunt.

Sorry, comment time is over.