This might be the most unusual place you’ll find head-tax-repeal petitions in West Seattle

Signature-gathering continues for the push to repeal the city “head tax” – we photographed petition circulators at the West Seattle Farmers Market on Sunday and have seen others at various locations. Tonight, perhaps the most unusual spot you’ll find signature-gathering: The weekly trivia game at Talarico’s in The Junction. From host Phil Tavel:

Tonight at Talarico’s trivia, due to popular demand, we will have the “Repeal the Head Tax” petition available for people to sign; even if you aren’t playing trivia … but really, why wouldn’t you come and play? Starts at 8:30, goes until 10. Prizes for top and bottom teams.

The repeal campaign has just over two weeks to gather enough signatures to send the referendum to voters, to ask if they want to keep or toss what the council and mayor approved two weeks ago. Its supporters, meantime, have a “decline to sign” campaign going.

104 Replies to "This might be the most unusual place you'll find head-tax-repeal petitions in West Seattle"

  • Jack sparra May 30, 2018 (1:58 pm)

    Seattle citizens waking up from a loooong slumber to stop gov spending and taxing! Yay!!!!

    • Patrick May 30, 2018 (2:34 pm)

      Signed just last night at Peel & Press.   Thanks to the people at SEIU for letting us know about their business boycott list, or I would not have know where to sign and what business to support.  Hopefully the voters stay awake to the relentless efforts of our city political leaders at overtaxation, and blatant their blatant disregard for ‘we the people’.    Remember these times when election 2019 comes around.   A full housecleaning is in order.

      • Rico Maloney May 31, 2018 (10:52 am)

        Yessir!  Let’s help the Gates, the Bezos, the Boeings, and all the other needy business owners in our area.  They sure seem to care a LOT about the homeless, impoverished children, single parents trying to get by, and our region’s ongoing transportation problems.  Why not just appoint the Seattle Chamber of Commerce to replace the city council?  Our “community” would surely be a better place to live.

        • J242 May 31, 2018 (12:07 pm)

          Amazon/Bezos at least is supporting Mary’s Place with free rent & utilities in a prime SLU location. Seems more effective than paying analysts to keep telling the city they have a problem in the first place.  “Amazon will give roughly half of the six-story building to the shelter, providing it with 47,000 square feet of space with private rooms that can hold 65 families, or about 220 people and their pets. The facility, expected to open in early 2020, will have its own entrance and elevators.”

  • Patrick May 30, 2018 (2:23 pm)

     Let’s hope that the citizenry stays awake, with eyes wide open, regarding the blatant overtaxation and disregard for ‘we the people’.   Remember these days when next election cycle comes up in 2019. 

  • Mike May 30, 2018 (2:30 pm)

    No tax on jobs! If this asinine idea is going to cost anyone their job, it should be the members of our “we know best” City Council.

  • Mr E May 30, 2018 (3:11 pm)

    Let me know when the anti-tax folks find themselves homeless for reasons beyond their control, I’d like to drive past them and make baseless judgments about their life choices before I complain online about how I have to look at homeless people—much less think about them.Thank God the free market can provide necessary solutions for homelessness in our society. I can’t think of any but I’m sure there has to be one or two that will make me feel smug and self-important. Now if only there were ways I could stop giving the government my money and live as a free citizen in a city that runs on taxes, subsidies, and grants.Don’t tread on me! Live free or die! I just need to shoot at the ground with my guns to get everything I need to live!

    • WSMom May 30, 2018 (3:58 pm)

      I’m against the tax but do not feel that way at all about the homeless.  I feel the city has plenty of money but they obviously do not know how to spend wisely.  (by spending wisely I don’t believe that they should NOT spend on the homeless, I simply believe that forcing employers out of Seattle by taxing them this way is not the way)

      • Andromeda May 30, 2018 (5:07 pm)

        Large employers create jobs directly and indirectly by the thousands. People with those jobs go and spend money which gets funneled into tax revenue. The city needs to stop looking for more revenue from businesses and start looking at efficiencies.

      • CatLady May 30, 2018 (7:21 pm)

        “I feel the city has plenty of money…” okay, but do you know that for a fact? Or is it just a feeling that you have? I will admit that I don’t know how much money the city has, or how efficiently it’s spending it. What I do know is that the report commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce found that the city needs to be spending $350-$400 million PER YEAR to adequately address the homeless issue. Do you feel that the city has that much extra money lying around? 

        • Mike May 30, 2018 (7:44 pm)

          The city spends over $100 Million / year on homeless.  Puget sound as whole spends over $1 Billion / year on homeless. already paid nearly $6K in property tax for last year and will pay more this year.  I have two neighbors that sold their homes because they are fixed income and the 50+% increase in property tax was too much for them.  So, I’m signing everything to reduce taxes and undo the damages done by all the politicians.  King County screwed up and cut budgets for staffing at the treatment plant by Discovery Park, which then caused valves to fail and millions of gallons of raw sewage to be dumped into Puget Sound. Luckily no staff drowned in the 8′ of raw sewage at the plant.  Efficient spending is not something our politicians do well.  Sawant even uses city property and equipment to print her signs for the protests she holds, all while funneling money to companies her husband works for and that pay for her flights to push her agenda around the USA.  I can keep going, do you need more?

        • Joel May 31, 2018 (1:01 am)

          Lets remember too that under Murray the city staff grew by 40% and more city employees people paid $180k plus a year than ever before..What are the stats for sales tax revenue?  With a booming economy for years now the city must be taking in record sales tax.

        • Mark May 31, 2018 (10:09 am)

          Well for one thing the City has more people on the payroll making over $100K then not.  Oh and the ex mayor gets a >$100K pension. 

    • Dan May 30, 2018 (6:14 pm)

      I am against the head tax and my small business just offered to match up to 1k in donations to Mary’s Place.  You can be both against the head tax and for finding solution to homelessness.  Asking for results and accountability doesn’t make you a bad person.  If the city was spending it he money efficiently, I would accept the tax.  They don’t so I will send it to Mary’s Place instead. 

      • CatLady May 30, 2018 (7:10 pm)

        The problem is that philanthropy alone can’t solve societal problems like homelessness. The Seattle Chamber of Commerce had a report done that said in order for Seattle to really solve the homelessness issue the city needs to spend $350-$400 million dollars PER YEAR.It’s nice that you’re matching up to $1000 in donations, but that’s not going to solve the problem. And it’s sad that you’re willing to support taking away this avenue of funding that could at least begin to address the problem all while patting yourself on the back for being super generous. 

        • Dan May 30, 2018 (8:03 pm)

          The report you referenced still hasn’t been seen in full by anyone, even the council.  2) there is another report that we have all the money we need and spend it on the wrong things.  3) there is still no detailed spending plan on this tax so really we have no idea what it will accomplish.  4) saying we were donating money was to combate the original comment in out thread that if you vited against this you didn’t are about homelessness and that is a terribly offbase statement to make.  I’ll be helping by volunteering at Mary’s Place new painting walls and repair things.  I will put both my time and money were my mouth is and not just demand other people pay for ineffective spending by the city.  

          • CatLady May 30, 2018 (10:14 pm)

            1) The reason the full report hasn’t been released is because it directly contradicts what the Chamber of Commerce has been arguing. They paid for a report by an outside firm, and when they got the report back and it didn’t say what they thought it would, they sat on it instead of releasing it. I don’t think hyperlinks work in comments, but here’s the short version of the report: Do you have any more information on your report? Or am I just supposed to believe this no-name study?3) There actually is a five-year plan for how to spend the funds from the EHT.4) I’m not going to say that being opposed to the EHT means you don’t care about homelessness, but I DO think it means you’re not willing to support the most viable option we have right now of actually reducing homelessness. 

          • heartless May 30, 2018 (10:27 pm)

            Hi Dan,
            Some comments:

            1) So you don’t believe the report by McKinsey (McKinsey Seattle homelessness).  Why not?  How was the methodology flawed?

            2) “there is another report that we have all the money we need and spend it on the wrong things” I really WANT to believe this report exists–it honestly sounds like it’d be a really fun read–but…  I mean…  No.

            3)  You should know that Mary’s Place exists because of taxes and government and all that money you say goes to “ineffective spending by the city.”  It’s lovely you volunteer there, but if you’re looking for something good Seattle has done with taxes–just open your eyes.

          • Jethro Marx May 31, 2018 (12:28 am)

            I’m pretty sure Dan is referring to the consultant Seattle hired to tell them how to direct their money to address homelessness. It was a year or so ago. She didn’t say, “Why don’t you build some housing?” which I guess is what my advice would be. Shoot, I could’ve told ’em that for like, half of what they paid her. Seattle really likes to study stuff. Oh, and pass stuff and then repeal it. I find all this sky-is-falling/turn out the lights nonsense a little humorous. However many people and businesses leave, we have a whole queue eager to come to Seattle and replace them, else houses would maybe cost a bit less.

          • Joel May 31, 2018 (1:07 am)

            Shows private companies such as Mary’s Place can do more with the money than the city.   Show results from the 70 million yearly spent before demanding more.

          • Dan May 31, 2018 (9:53 am)

            1) the report hasn’t been release.  Media has been asking for two weeks and there is questions to if the report is even fully finished or if they only released talking points.  I don’t trust a report that no one will release, nobody should.  Open to change my reluctance as soon as it is released.2) Please research the report written by Barbra Poppe. Hired by the city and stated we didn’t have a revenue problem but a were we spend our money problem.   Amusingly, when I went to copy the city link for her report it goes to a “page not found.”  You can still find the report but funny the city removed it from their website…..3) If the city funded Mary’s Place great.  Money is wasted on SHARE/WHEEL/LIHI.  Some of them even lost funding last year because they couldn’t show results, good job city, way to hold them accountable.  Within 3 weeks they quietly restored ALL the funding…….   Also, the Poppe report said to stop spening money on tent camps and tiny homes and laid out a road map to get people housed.  Guess what the Mayor announcement was yesterday? That’s right, more tents and tiny homes.  

    • Rene S. May 31, 2018 (8:33 am)

      I was homeless for a few years when I was a teen/young adult.  worked odd jobs when I could get it.    When there is a jobs tax the first people to lose hours or jobs are the low wage income earners.  The ones who have trouble finding affordable housing.    We know this is true because the same thing happened when the affordable care act was put in place.    Papa Johns,  wendy’s and others nationally interviewed they were cutting hours to keep employees below the health care benefit requirement.   Seattle is not doing nearly as well managing resources for the homeless as many cities featured for their efforts. 

    • CandrewB May 31, 2018 (9:12 am)

      Drive? Are you an elitist or just not care much for the environment?

  • West Seattle Hipster May 30, 2018 (3:48 pm)

    Fight the power!  So great to see the citizens of Seattle fighting to take back our city.    The “leadership” of the city is failing us and it’s time to hold them accountable.Stay woke!

  • MJ May 30, 2018 (4:33 pm)

    A good resounding vote to repeal the head tax is needed.  The Council is out of touch and has no fiscal constraint.  Bringing back some fiscal sanity is sorely needed.

    • heartless May 30, 2018 (4:51 pm)

      Those most interested in the fiscals don’t seem too worried about the head tax.

      “Moody’s stated that the revenues from the tax will be modest but “an important offset to the city’s growing costs associated with homelessness.”
      In its report, Fitch stated that Seattle remains attractive to employers due to a large pool of educated and qualified employees. It also cited as pluses the city’s many amenities, including its status as a cultural center with sports, entertainment, transit and nearby airport and seaport facilities.”


  • BJ May 30, 2018 (4:46 pm)

    Who’s funding these petitions?  I assume the big businesses making over 10 mil a year.

    • WSB May 30, 2018 (4:47 pm)

      The top contributors are listed at the bottom of the site. I haven’t checked the city Ethics/Elections website yet for the latest list of contributors in general.

      • Jake from State Farm May 30, 2018 (10:21 pm)

        BJ – awesome deductive detective work! You must have a IQ of 160, I would recommend you for Officer Candidate School but that would be a waste of a fine enlisted man.The real question is, who paid for the rallies for the Head Tax? Maybe you can figure out why they funded it…….

    • Greg May 30, 2018 (10:44 pm)

      BJ, your assumption would be correct.

    • Joel May 31, 2018 (1:09 am)

      Funding?….like Sawant’s signs paid for by tax money.

  • D May 30, 2018 (5:48 pm)

    Heavily taxing foreign investment in real estate is a petition I would sign.  Vancouver did this, we should too.  This seems like the most direct way to halt the speculation in our housing market.  I would prefer trying this over a head tax.

    • East Coast Cynic May 30, 2018 (7:11 pm)

      I agree 100% D, but the City Attorney said it’s illegal.Rezone some single family housing neighborhoods to multi family would help with housing availablity and affordability as well.

  • TJ May 30, 2018 (6:01 pm)

    There will be no problem getting the signatures for this. The city council is so out of touch with reality it’s mind boggling. Let’s tax jobs because businesses creating them are contributing to homelessness? This is what happens when “grass roots” crusaders are elected. To those for this tax, and anymore spending on homelessness…why are homeless numbers dropping  in so many cities, yet increasing here? And we already spend more than other cities on this? Seattle is allowing it to grow. Police not enforcing open drug use? Tents anywhere? Bellevue and other eastside cities don’t allow these things, so I guess they migrate here. Problem solved for those towns. Why should any city tax money be spent on someone not from here? Come from Spokane and then benefit from my taxes? Sorry. 

  • T May 30, 2018 (6:02 pm)

    I can’t believe (or maybe I can) Mayor Durkan rolled over when asked about the head tax. She said the council voted for it so I support it. Kind of a lazy move if you ask me for a tax rate unprecedented in all 50 states. She didn’t waste any time lowering my / our confidence.

  • The King May 30, 2018 (6:12 pm)

    You can look at Connecticut to see how overregulating, overtaxing and overspending works. Big business leaves, investors take their money elsewhere, wealthy take their hedge funds somewhere else. Next thing you know your budget deficit has gone from 1.75 billion to over 5 billion within a year. 

    • Morgan May 30, 2018 (8:43 pm)

      I’m originally from CT, can confirm.City revenues of course must grow with the population and issues, and voted for more taxes on myself as a homeowner. As a state our taxes need to become less regressive and balanced from other sources. There needs to be more social services for mentally and drugs, and more housing needs to built regionwide (looking at you, Bellevue, to pitch in).However, a head tax on jobs is asinine, assigns blame where it does not belong, could kill unprecedented prosperity in the short term, threatens the middle class in the medium term, and long term the economy of the region.I look forward to repealing and voting out Council for better policy makers—not showboating ideologues who are not solution minded.

  • Greg May 30, 2018 (6:23 pm)

    So glad I didn’t support Tavel for SCC.

    • Dale May 30, 2018 (8:28 pm)

      I supported Tavel for SCC, including displaying a yard sign.  I hope he runs again.  How about some common sense on the council?

      • Greg May 30, 2018 (9:06 pm)

        “Common sense” is code for white male knows best. No thanks, Herbold rocks – I like her deep knowledge of the city, its budget process. legislative process, etc. And, she works her ass off for all of us. Things are changing; yes, it’s painful – and there is lots of straight white male angst out there, but power shifts are always painful. This too shall pass. 

        • CandrewB May 31, 2018 (9:18 am)

          Common sense is code for understanding unintended, or as Herbold likes to say unfortunate consequences.

    • Truth May 30, 2018 (9:14 pm)

      If Tavel runs again he will beat Lisa. Take that to the bank.  Lisa will be one a done after crafting this legislation, her illegal rental law and wasting money on an unconstitutional income tax. (Ps- I am good with a income tax but it needs to go through the state legislature. High school civics class should have taught all of us that)

      • CatLady May 30, 2018 (11:45 pm)

        The legislature won’t pass an income tax – not in the near future, anyway. If this state is going to get an income tax, it’s going to happen because the case goes to the state Supreme Court & the ban on an income tax gets overturned. I’m glad the SCC passed that income tax, and I’m definitely going to vote for Herbold again. 

        • Rusty May 31, 2018 (10:21 am)

          In other words, if an activist state Supreme Court legislates from the bench instead of the intended, constitutional way where the state legislature legislates. Glad to know you don’t care about constitutionality when it suits you, but what happens if it doesn’t?We’re either a nation of laws or we aren’t – and if we aren’t, God help us.

  • TJ May 30, 2018 (6:45 pm)

    Big Businesses need to start paying their share for once.  What did most big businesses do with their tax cuts?  Give CEO’s a raise.  There’s no such thing as trickle down, America.  You need to wake up.We have a homeless problem.  They aren’t going away.  Make Starbucks, Amazon etc. pay their way.Seattle wants the Head Tax! The SHILLS out there collecting signatures are working for Big Business Fat Cats.

    • Dan May 30, 2018 (7:06 pm)

      If you are rignt then this referendum will fail when voted on.  Why is everyone so concwrned about letting the people vote on this?

      • heartless May 30, 2018 (10:13 pm)

        Me personally? 
        Because big big money will go into advertising/propaganda mode to ‘encourage’ people to vote against the head tax. 

        Two questions: which campaign would have more money?  The one headed Safeway/QFC and AMAZON, or the one headed by Seattle? 

        Second question: do you believe advertising and campaigns influence voters?

        So that, in a nutshell, is why I’m annoyed these ignorant and entitled nobodies are wasting time and money trying to repeal something that economic reporters are already calling good for the city of Seattle (Seattle head tax has no rating impact)

  • Brad May 30, 2018 (8:37 pm)

    Remember to vote out the seven council members next year.  Need to repeal the district voting and democracy vouchers as well.  Hopefully SEATTLE is waking up to the damage theses progressives have done to the city!

    • Greg May 30, 2018 (9:17 pm)

      Brad, enlighten us please – what “damage” have the progressives done to Seattle?

      • S May 30, 2018 (11:38 pm)

        I’m not Brad but I’ll take a stab at this…-One is the $15 minimum wage that a UW study found to decrease annual wages due to job cuts. Anecdotally, I also know small business owners who are selling because they can’t afford to pay that much.-Amazon is about to announce the location for HQ2….in another state.-Herbold’s rental shenanigans with first come first serve have caused me to charge the max I can get from new incoming tenants, whereas previously I charged low rents so that I could pick from a wide range of applicants.-Taxes on homeowners are skyrocketing and displacing many long-term residents

        • DP May 31, 2018 (6:26 am)

          That UW “study” was widely criticized for its lack of depth and selective investigation. 

    • CatLady May 30, 2018 (9:35 pm)

      WTF do you have against democracy vouchers? Or do you just really hate low-income people that much? 

      • Helpful May 31, 2018 (9:04 am)

        I have everything against democracy vouchers!! The entire concept is ridiculous and ineffective, and.. Wait for it.. Not free!! All of us are forced to pay for this contribution to political campaigning! More stupid signs and mailers and litter and- you pay for it! (Whether you want to or not.) Benefit election system? Who knows! Benefit printers? Yes! Detriment environment? Absolutely! Would it be more effective and environmentally responsible to burn tax dollars in a giant furnace? Indeed! 

      • Jeremy May 31, 2018 (2:18 pm)

         I support the intent behind democracy vouchers, but, per a report on them posted on the City’s own website, the people most likely to use them were “regular voters in elections, older residents, people who live in white-majority neighborhoods and those who live in upper-income neighborhoods.”  Low income people undoubtedly used them and it expanded contributions from previously underrepresented areas of Seattle, but it’s not exactly meeting the goals laid out for the program if the main people taking advantage of it are older, wealthier, white voters. I’d prefer limiting the amount of money that can be spent on campaigning in total and having a tax funded pool of money equally distributed to qualifying candidates.  

    • heartless May 30, 2018 (10:16 pm)

      Why is Seattle in all caps?  Were you yelling so it’d wake up?  I can’t figure it out.

  • Rb May 30, 2018 (9:04 pm)

    How does a business get to host the petition signing? I would but mind to host it. 

  • Chib May 30, 2018 (9:10 pm)

    Where can I sign the petition to repeal tomorrow? 

    • M May 31, 2018 (5:37 am)

      They’ve been collecting signatures every day I’ve stopped by the Target at Westwood Village recently. Hope the effort is getting close to the numbers required. I don’t understand why anyone would be against getting this on the ballot. Let the voters decide rather than a small group of activist. 

      • West Seattle since 1979 May 31, 2018 (9:46 am)

        I agree with letting it go to a vote.  And hopefully we’ll have a good voter turnout, so that whichever way this is decided, it’ll be the will of the majority.  

    • TR June 1, 2018 (12:03 pm)

      Peel & Press 

  • Jack sparra May 30, 2018 (9:14 pm)

    Amen Brad.

  • Paul May 30, 2018 (10:32 pm)

    So glad to see this repeal effort moving forward. We should be encouraging business growth, not limiting it. I’m looking forward to signing the petition.

    • Rico Maloney May 31, 2018 (10:45 am)

      You got that right!  We need more cars on our streets.  Housing isn’t nearly costly enough.  Landlords remain impoverished.  And, Lord knows that big businesses are so very good at sharing their wealth.  Lower taxes for well to do businesses always make for a richer community.

  • psps May 30, 2018 (10:44 pm)

    LOL. I had no idea West Seattle Farmers Market and Talarico’s each had over $20 million in annual sales in Seattle. If I’m wrong and they don’t, the “head tax” has no effect on them at all.  Oh well. If the “head tax” gets repealed, Jeff Bezos can pocket that extra 75 cents a day per employee and, apparently, “buy more stuff” that, somehow, magically turns into tax revenue that supports all of society.  Or something like that.

    • Joel May 31, 2018 (1:12 am)

      $200 million in sales or maybe concerned about fiscal responsibility and lack of accountability.

    • chemist May 31, 2018 (7:55 am)

      Sometimes it’s businesses concerned about the larger businesses in their supply chain that are going to pass along modest increases in costs.  Sometimes it’s folks concerned about it spreading once started (there was a high-earners income tax initiative 8 years ago and you’d be amazed at how many voters were against a tax on folks with an AGI, per individual, of more than $200,000 .,_Initiative_1098_(2010)

  • Dayle Banks May 30, 2018 (10:47 pm)

    There signup tables at the bus stops on 3rd Avenue at Pike and Pine.  A lot of people were signing.

  • Rico Maloney May 31, 2018 (4:32 am)

    Businesses making $20M can’t afford to pay for the dislocation their workers create?  Their profit margins are so skinny that $275/yr. puts them under?  Me thinks the 1%ers are crying over an inability to rape this town even more than they already have. …$15/hr for workers was the same thing.  All the restaurants were going to close.  Remember that?  Well, I see plenty of businesses survived.  They’ll also survive the dreaded “head tax.”. They all just got a BIG Trump tax break.

    • DH May 31, 2018 (9:47 am)


    • Melissa May 31, 2018 (10:32 am)

      Rico, grossing $20 mil doesn’t mean netting $20 mil. What’s missing from this discussion is that yes, some companies grossing $20 mil are paying their employees fairly (solid wage and benefits) and charging their customers reasonably and this tax will really hurt them. I support a head tax — if it’s on businesses grossing more than $50 million. You’d be surprised how many companies grossing $20 million don’t have any rich folks working for them. Some of them are mainstays of what’s left of Seattle’s middle class.

  • flimflam May 31, 2018 (6:20 am)

    i read in another news outlet that some signature gatherers and folks trying to sign the petition are being harassed and intimidated by pro-tax group…really not cool and a tactic used by racists in the south against minority voters in the not so distant past. regardless of your opinion, attempts to intimidate and harass is a nasty and rather pathetic attempt to silence people. very surprised that “progressives” would stoop to that level.

    • Lagartija Nick May 31, 2018 (9:27 am)

      And I’ve read reports that the paid signature gatherers are lying to people to get them to sign the petition saying the head tax will affect individuals. Which has been a tactic of big business propaganda to get people to vote against their own interests for decades.

      • Jamie Jamison May 31, 2018 (1:36 pm)

        Sorry, but how is giving Seattle’s incompetent and corrupt city government more money to waste in the interest of Seattle residents? Anyone who thinks that this tax will do anything to improve the situation with homelessness is as delusional as any Trump supporter who thinks that Mexico will pay for the wall.

        • Lagartija Nick May 31, 2018 (7:55 pm)

          If you think paid signature gatherers lying about an initiative to get people to sign is okay, you might just be a Trump supporter.

    • Uncle Loco May 31, 2018 (4:39 pm)

      I was just at the Safeway on Roxbury. Cops were there because someone was harassing a signature gatherer. I signed the petition.

      • RickWS June 1, 2018 (1:01 pm)

        Thank you Uncle Loco

  • Jack May 31, 2018 (6:21 am)

    We as a city simply can’t allow people to live on the street. Part of the problem is there is not enough affordable housing, but that is only 1 aspect of the problem.Some of these people will never voluntarily give up living on the street. The mentally unstable, the druggies/drunks and the criminals. Put the mentally unstable in a facility, treat the addicts, put the criminals in jail. The homeless that simply need a leg up to get back on their feet, get them a place to live and mentor them so they have a plan and won’t end up back on the street.But, just saying we will provide a place to live to whoever is homeless won’t do solve the problem.First step is to not allow anyone to camp in the city.

  • Michelle May 31, 2018 (8:48 am)

    I hope Mr. Tavel run again!!!!!!!  I voted for him.  I  was so disappointed  that he did to win. Lisa H. is  terrible!! Full of her own ideology and lacking in common sense for the West Settle Neighborhoods. Theentire counsel needs to go.  We need common sense leadership.

  • SWinWS May 31, 2018 (9:33 am)

    It’s pretty discouraging to see some of these anti-tax advocates showing their patriotic allegiance to Amazon and other mega-corporations, instead they should be reminded that those companies avoid paying their fair share of US taxes by basing tax shelters/headquarters in Luxembourg.  So stop blaming the City Council and face the facts: homelessness is directly linked to wealthy companies/property values displacing working families, and lower economic class people. We need rent control, we need minimum universal income, and universal basic healthcare.  If Amazon threatens to leave the city that created them, it’s because they value profits over people— not because of a head tax.

    • CatLady May 31, 2018 (11:23 am)

      Thank you for this. I fully agree. It’s depressing to see how caught up people are in the myth that taxing businesses is going to make Seattle implode. The EHT isn’t great, but I don’t know how else the city is going to adequately address the homelessness problem. I’m probably going to be priced out in a year or two, and while part of me is going to be sad to leave, the other part is going to be relieved that I’ll no longer live in a city that claims to be progressive, yet is full of people who are anything but. Unsheltered folks deserve better than this. 

    • Andromeda May 31, 2018 (12:06 pm)

      I find it discouraging to hear the same tired statements over and over on both sides of ideological spectrum. You can be both pro-economic growth and supportive of a strong social safety net. It’s obvious that homelessness is a complex issue that isn’t just about rising rents resulting from an influx of well-paid tech workers to our city (and the many positive multiplier effects that result from that). Each person living on the street or in a vehicle is a person with a story. Some have just had bad luck – we should concentrate our resources on families with children in this situation. Others have made poor choices. Some, whether because of addiction or mental illness, can only make poor choices. Giving them incentives to make better choices or treatment for mental illness should be the priority, not just letting them camp all over the city until we give them a key to a place.Also so very very tired and discouraged by the continued reflexive tribal identity politics evidenced by “Greg” and others. “Whiteness” and “White male angst” don’t explain everything wrong with our politics – sorry – people are a little bit more nuanced than that. Look up the term “motivated ignorance” when you get a chance.If anybody else hoping for a different kind of politics, check out  

  • HTB May 31, 2018 (9:59 am)

    Some points on this:1) I think the idea that Seattle has to “do something” is misguided as most companies will simply move work to Bellevue or other cities in King County to avoid the tax. This needs to be a county or statewide solution.2) I think this is less a practical idea than the City Council attempting to find the closest proxy to what they consider a “progressive” or “fair” tax that they can find. They seem to have a belief that society is profoundly unequal and that it is there job to balance things. The problem is that this doesn’t work in the real world.3) I think the profound good that tech has done for our city (and indeed for society) is being hand-waved away4) Rising costs are a problem. However, I would point to the fact that you don’t seen encampments to the side of I-405. I think that is because the City fundamentally believes that the whole of the homeless population are “victims” who cannot be penalized for poverty. I think the reality is more nuanced than that. You simply can’t camp on the sidewalk – period. There needs to be some basic enforcement that goes hand in hand with the compassion.5) The conspiracy-theory part of my brain wonders if the pro tax side wants as many visible homeless encampments as possible to force some type of action on progressive revenue.6) Finally, this has noting to do with white males in power. 

  • Jamie Jamison May 31, 2018 (10:25 am)

    I saw this today and thought, “OK, perhaps the city will do something about the homelessness problem now”. I mean really it’s not as if any of our local leaders care about the quality of life for people who actually live and work in the Seattle area, we’re just viewed as sheep to be shorn, but God forbid that anything interfere with the tourism industry! Especially now that the PoS has built a taxpayer subsidized cruise ship terminal and we’re building an addition to the taxpayer subsidized convention center.Homeless problem, ‘street scene’ costing Seattle conventions and tourism dollars, expert says

    • Jcc June 1, 2018 (3:45 pm)

      My company based in the Midwest was deciding between an event in Seattle or in Austin. Austin won because our members don’t feel safe in Seattle any longer. So sad. Why are we letting street people have so much power. The camping on Alaskan Way, blatant drug use, zombie like people, criminals, bodily fluids, etc… it’s truly appalling. Why is there no legal enforcement and any sort of movement to keep law abiding citizens and tourists safe? 

  • Jack sparra May 31, 2018 (10:48 am)

    SWINS you can get all that in Venezuela….enjoy the revolution…you may have to stand in line alot.No study says you can solve homelessness thru $. 

  • SWinWS May 31, 2018 (11:47 am)

    Jack, thanks for the invite but, I choose to examine the problems and issues that I and my family face in my own community.  Yes, Venezuela has several fundamental issues in regards to serving it people.  However, there is insurmountable corporate pressure to privatize Venuzuela’s oil wealth for the benefit of international non-Venezuelan corporations.  Maybe dig deeper into the the social and economic plight of poor people before you jump on the corporate/colonial bandwagon. 

  • Greg May 31, 2018 (1:00 pm)

    Sorry, Andromeda – sometimes it really is that simple; though of course one would hope for more nuance. A female majority (6) SCC (four of whom are women of color) is being roundly bashed and criticized by some very uncivil (racist and misogynist) discourse in this city. Much of it is driven by outright hatred of Kshama Sawant, an immigrant women of color, who is constantly subjected to the most vile commentary and descriptions, along with the less fortunate she advocates for – all on display here in supposedly “liberal” and “progressive” city – and, in this community of West Seattle. It really is, that simple: straight white male angst – and all sanctioned, and encouraged, by the current occupant of the WH.

    • Jamie Jamison May 31, 2018 (1:31 pm)

      Kshama Sawant deserves approximately as much sympathy as Dinesh D’Souza and she’s as much of a “victim” as D’Souza is. Show me someone who supports Sawant and I’ll show you a loser who isn’t any brighter than or better than any of the dead-enders who support D’Souza.

    • Andromeda May 31, 2018 (1:46 pm)

      Well, I’m glad you’ve found the explanation for everyone opposing the current council… it couldn’t be that people just disagree with their ideology. Most of the vitriol I’ve heard has been directed at Mike O’Brien – maybe not white or male enough?

      • CandrewB May 31, 2018 (3:09 pm)

        I don’t know about you, but I am against the council tanking the future economic viability of the city, the recruitment of drug addicted sociopaths from across the country, the enforcement of laws on some people but not others, and taxing people out of their homes SOLELY because it will chip away at the cisgendered, straight, white, male patriarchal society that hasn’t existed in Seattle since the late ’80s. Greg completely has us pegged; he must be a psychologist.

    • Jethro Marx May 31, 2018 (5:28 pm)

      1. I don’t hate Councilmember Sawant, but she often sounds like an idiot when she speaks. Remember when she told us Boeing should switch their war machine manufacturing equipment to the “fuel-efficient mass transit” setting? 2. When someone says something as complex as culture “…really is that simple…” they are always wrong.  3. When someone says, in America, “…this has nothing to do with straight white men being in power…” they are wrong, unless they’re talking about, like, why it’s raining. Power structures matter, and Seattle’s so-called progressive political climate does not inoculate its citizens against 500 years of racism and patriarchy at play. This stuff is complicated; not everyone who opposes the head tax hates homeless people. There is a great temptation in an argument to both oversimplify the problem and paint the opposing side with a broad and monotone brush. Let’s try to do a little better.

  • Maxine May 31, 2018 (1:16 pm)

    They are also collecting signatures at Metro Market.

  • Chris May 31, 2018 (3:18 pm)

    My opposition to new taxes has nothing to do with racism or misogyny.  Greg seems like a smart person and I’m surprised he can’t see the irony in his hatred of my sexual orientation, gender and race.  More concerning, I feel Seattle has grown to hate her middle class and want us to leave…  Last year >10% of our income went to property taxes for our 97 year old house and this has more than doubled in the last 5 years.  With increases to car tabs, additional real estate taxes set to take effect, huge utility price increases, and SCC screaming for additional tax revenue (to name a few), we’re questioning if we can afford to live in the city where we’ve lived and worked for the past 25 years.   After voting Dem for the past 28 years, I’m planning to change things up in the next local elections…   We’ll see if there is anything to Newton’s 3rd law in politics.

    • HpRes June 1, 2018 (6:49 am)

      Well stated I totally agree and feel the same way

  • Rico Maloney May 31, 2018 (4:17 pm)

    I see many on the pro-big business side blaming the City for its unwise spending decisions. Seems that the preference of such business-minded folks is to “just do nothing.”  Kids sleeping in cars works for them.  Tents on downtown sidewalks near huge construction cranes makes perfect sense.  The businesses have “theirs” here in Seattle, with a more than friendly City governance.  Why worry about those who don’t?  End the head tax, and some 1%er can better afford his next divorce

  • Chris May 31, 2018 (5:34 pm)

    Maybe you can help us break down the numbers, Rico…?  A new King County homeless count from January tallied just over 12,000 sleeping on the streets.   I think I’ve seen Seattle’s existing budget to “address homelessness” is $100,000,000 (more than $8300/homeless person).  Where does this $100,000,000/year go and why does the SCC think we need to spend an additional $350,000,000/year (~$37,000 per person)?  Please embarrass me and tell me my numbers are way off…

    • CAM May 31, 2018 (6:31 pm)

      Chris, I’m wondering, since you think we are spending too much per person, if you could give me a budget for how to survive on $8,300 per year. I’d even be willing to accept an argument for how to budget for twice that. Homeless people have the same, if not greater, needs as the average person. I’m fairly certain that money wouldn’t even cover the bare minimum to have food, shelter, and utilities for a year. 

    • Rico Maloney June 1, 2018 (6:14 am)

      Those numbers are indeed suspicious.  I doubt you actually believe them.  But, my focus is not on what is spent, or how it is spent.  My focus is on the abject greed of the big businesses that assert that a stinking $275 per worker puts their bottom lines under.  Those businesses earn their way by benefitting from existing in Seattle.  They need to pay for the havoc caused….  The fight against this is seemingly waged by mercenaries for the rich folks.  I wonder what they pay their signature crews….  And, if one doesn’t think this change is nominal, count how many are leaving for Tacoma and it’s $275 per head bonus.

  • TJ May 31, 2018 (6:53 pm)

    CAM, probably because they are getting the most basics, as it should be. What are the ones being helped responsibilities? They need to contribute something. I mean, that’s how it is for the rest of us. 

  • 1994 May 31, 2018 (8:59 pm)

    My thinking is the businesses needing to pay this special ‘head tax’ will simply raise the prices they charge for goods and services. The tax will really be paid by you and me. Adding more money will not solve the problem of the homeless. Read the May 24th Seattle Times article, “Out of homelessness, into a hovel” There are multiple funding sources (state, county, city, private) for the homeless services/subsidized rent but they end up homeless again. It is a complex issue that money alone will not solve.

  • Common Sense June 1, 2018 (3:47 pm)

    The reason some smaller businesses (Talaricos, Peel & Press, etc) oppose the head tax is they get their beer, liquor, wine, food that they sell from distributors who exceed the $20mil threshold, and do you think the distributors just swallow the cost?  No they don’t they pass these increased costs onto the small locally owned businesses, who then pass those costs onto the consumer.  Another industry that will be hard hit is grocery stores that rely on a high volume very low margin business model, and they too will pass the increased costs onto consumers.  It was disingenuous when it was called a “tax on Amazon” because anyone with a basic understanding of economics knows that increased costs always get passed to the consumer.  This is a tax that will end up being paid by Seattle citizens.

    • Helpful June 2, 2018 (9:49 am)

      Yes- but task forces need money to pay for conference tables and whiteboards..!

  • Don June 6, 2018 (8:24 pm)

    I wonder how many homeless people could have been housed with the $258,000 the city spent defending Kshama Sawant’s defamation lawsuit? The City Council has so mismanaged the homeless issue, they can’t even tell us why the problem has gotten worse despite the tens of millions they have spent in the past few years. 

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