West Seattle Wednesday: Minimum wage & sales tax go up; Don Smathers memorial; SDOT at Southwest District Council…

(UPDATED 12:52 PM: Don Smathers memorial has moved indoors, to Easy Street Records)

(Photo by Jonathan S.: – Double rainbow from the Fauntleroy ferry on Tuesday)

Happy April!

TWO THINGS THAT GO UP TODAY IN SEATTLE: First, the minimum wage. It’s not anywhere near $15 yet – that’s being phased in over several years. Today, it’s either $10/$11 – here’s where to figure it out. Second, the sales tax. The one-tenth-of-one-percent increase starts today, as approved by voters last year to pay for transit. This means you’ll pay a penny more tax on a taxable $10 purchase, a dime per $100, a dollar per $1,000. (The other part of the voter-approved funding, the $60 car-tab fee, doesn’t kick in until June.)

Now, from the calendar:

NETWORKING/HOME OFFICE/ETC. MEETUP: Get out of the house and into West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor), if only for an hour! Free – bring your lunch if you want.

MEMORIAL FOR DON SMATHERS: 5 pm at Junction Plaza Park – if you knew Don, you’re invited. Here’s what we published after news of his death – with many warm tributes added in the comment section. Since the weather’s been volatile recently, if there’s any last-minute change, we’ll post an update here as well as via the WSB Facebook and Twitter feeds. Otherwise, see you at the park. 12:52 PM UPDATE: New location – Easy Street Records. (California/Alaska)

INTERESTED IN COMMUTING BY BICYCLE? Or at least a bit curious? Free class tonight at Cycle U in West Seattle, 6:30 pm – details here. (3418 Harbor SW)

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: Whether by bike, car, bus, truck, feet, or … transportation remains the local hot-button topic, and SDOT is at the heart of the agenda for tonight’s 6:30 pm meeting at the Senior Center of West Seattle. At 6:40 pm, SDOT director Scott Kubly is back to talk about the Transportation Levy to Move Seattle (following last night’s open house); at 7:10 pm, SDOT communicators with two more topics, Arbor Heights microsurfacing and Admiral Way bike lanes. All welcome. (Oregon/California)

And stay tuned for this:

WEST SEATTLE COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE DAY REGISTRATION STARTING BY TONIGHT: The big day is May 9th, and every year we start signups right about now so we can get everything lined up well in advance. Planning to have a sale this year? When the form is ready to go later today/tonight, we’ll publish announcements here on WSB and on the official WSCGSD page at westseattlegaragesale.com.

7 Replies to "West Seattle Wednesday: Minimum wage & sales tax go up; Don Smathers memorial; SDOT at Southwest District Council..."

  • West Seattle since 1979 April 1, 2015 (11:24 am)

    Tracy, thanks so much for explaining the minimum wage, and that it’s not $15 yet and that it’ll be phased in over several years. I think some people believe that it’s going to $15 today, to read the comments on articles I’ve seen on other news sourcces (some of the articles don’t even have to do with the minimum wage.) I realize Ivar’s raised theirs to $15 now, but that was their decision.

    Whether people agree or disagree with raising the minimum wage, it’s good to know how much it’s going up today before we comment on it!

    • WSB April 1, 2015 (11:46 am)

      WS Since, that’s been a peeve of mine for a while, for accuracy’s sake, if nothing else, regardless of whether someone supports it or opposes it, they should be accurate about it!

  • Silly Goose April 1, 2015 (1:28 pm)

    This city’s system is unreal, so minimum wage finally goes up (still poverty level) and the city increases sales tax, just like belonging to a union, you finally reach a pay scale increase and then they raise your dues!! So basically you are breaking even!!

  • WS since '66 April 2, 2015 (9:45 am)

    Silly Goose! The city didn’t increase the sales tax one tenth of 1% the voters did. And thank the Unions for even having a pay scale increase among many many other benefits that we all take for granted. Your last statement about barely breaking even is a great argument for Unions representation.

  • Captain Dave April 2, 2015 (11:28 am)

    I am not against everyone making more money. I just think the whole minimum wage and increased taxation thing is a symptom of a much bigger problem. …The bigger problem being a lack of robust entrepreneurial activity that drives demand for employees and builds substantial enough economic revenue to support social systems.

    Seattle needs to address the root cause of the problem. Increasing tax rates and piling on more stifling regulations isn’t going to get entrepreneurs and investors creating new jobs. It’s simply going to make things worse with a less places for people to work.

    Amazon is helping to mask the problem with their current success. Can anyone imagine if Amazon either moved away or failed? Amazon is not Microsoft. Amazon’s business model isn’t really about proprietary technology. They are mostly just a big retailer like Sears and Kmart–they are extremely vulnerable to retail market dynamics and competition. When Amazon chokes (and it ultimately will), Seattle is set to be scraping its face off the pavement and posting the old Boeing era billboards that said: “Last one out, please turn off the lights”.

    We need fiscally responsible city and state policies that build economic diversity–not create environments where only big corporate monopolies and franchises can exist.

  • WS since '66 April 2, 2015 (4:27 pm)

    As one who actually remembers the sign about “the last one out please turn out the lights” I can honestly say that Seattle has a much more diverse employment base than just Amazon. True Amazon’s departure would cause a negative ripple effect it is nowhere near the same economic situation as 1970. At that time Boeing was the ONLY large employer. Seattle learned its lesson and diversified its economic base. The problem of affordability to live in Seattle and its ability to support social systems stems from our Capitalistic nature. Supply and demand are what sets prices from a loaf of bread to afford living in Seattle. People are coming to Seattle because of its people. More businesses are moving into our state and Seattle in general because of our lifestyle (we are NOT Indiana or Arkansas with bigoted discriminatory laws), natural beauty, and proximity to the Asian markets. Perhaps we should make it a priority to keep out the “big box” stores and rely mostly on the proven concept of “mom and pop stores” meaning small businesses. The Walmarts and Home Depots are what has ruined an area’s identity and vitality.

Sorry, comment time is over.