City council to vote on head tax repeal

In a surprising about-face, Seattle City Council president Bruce Harrell has introduced an ordinance — for a vote in Tuesday’s council meeting — that would repeal the head tax.

The announcement was followed by a statement this afternoon from Mayor Jenny Durkan and seven councilmembers. “We heard you,” it said. “It is clear that the ordinance will lead to a prolonged, expensive political fight over the next five months that will do nothing to tackle our urgent housing and homelessness crisis.”

Councilmembers Kshama Sawant and Teresa Mosqueda did not sign the statement.

Meanwhile, the “No Tax on Jobs” campaign said it had gathered enough signatures to qualify for a referendum on the November ballot that would repeal the tax. A spokesperson told GeekWire that they’ll wait to see how the council votes before they submit the signatures.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

49 thoughts to “City council to vote on head tax repeal”

  1. This is only the beginning. I suspect they realize what they did last month was political suicide and now are doing a 180 to keep their jobs.

    But what they don’t understand to keep their jobs they will need to

    >Blow up their current policies of enabling addicts
    >have a zero tolerance policy for living on the streets
    >Hire 500 more police officers, to enforce the law
    >get people into housing/rehab/mental health facilities or jail

    People are getting wise to the fact that there are cities across the country who have been successful dealing with the homeless by getting them into permanent housing and into the services they need. Where these policies seem to fail is inside cities that have allowed the enabling of addicts who choose not to accept our help but to do their drugs and commit crimes to keep their habits going. It starts with accountability and enforcement of the law. Until this council understands this they are going to get shown the door in 2019.

      1. The question is do you? We can only help and have money for those people who want to be helped. The others who don’t want to be helped we don’t need to spend a dime on unless they are going to jail or rehab and given a choice between those 2 a lot of these addicts will choose option #3 and that is to move on. The tax was to keep pouring money down the drain on policies that encouraged behavior that is dangerous to not only the homeless but also to the entire Seattle area. The city lays down a big welcoming mat for addicts from all over the country to come here and be able to do drugs and commit crimes with no consequences. Homelessness is down everywhere except in cities that enable addicts. We are the biggest enablers in the Country.

        The entire strategy that the city has right now to fight homelessness needs to be blown up. Every. aspect. of. it.

  2. Oh good, Mosqueda and Sawant refused to sign. How cute!

    This cohort of misguided schoolmarms and professional grievance hustlers is like something out of central casting. I wonder if Sawant had time to address Harrell’s ordinance, considering how much time she spends on her “Gaza vs Israel” events where she seems to think our city has resources to spare on the Middle East sandbox. What a bunch of narcissistic fools!

  3. Give me a moment to collect my jaw off the floor.

    I hope Mike O’Brian starts to listen to his constituents in district 6. The only way he gets re-elected is if somehow he follows through after repealing the tax and implements other rational legislation that helps those who want help – and gets tough on those who just want to steal, do drugs, and dump their trash all over our city. I wish the Seattle Times asks all of the council members more detailed questions about their change of stance. Where was all the common sense lurking in their brains when they voted for the measure just a few weeks ago?

    1. Mike ‘The Bike’ O’Brien is probably safe in his position. This city has the collective memory of a slug; the ones who do vote always vote hearts over minds (read- liberal, progressive), which means, even if someone steps up to challenge ‘the Bike’, it will likely be the same side of the liberal coin. Anyone with a differing hardline agenda won’t get a look in sideways; he or she will be viewed as regressive and won’t even get the minimum number of votes to get on the ballot.

      1. I disagree. I think there are enough big business democrats around here that would offer a real change from O’Brian – who has become more and more liberal over the years (probably trying to pander to voters). Wheatbroke or whoever it was that ran against him was a poor candidate, and she got 40% of the vote. Now after the backlash that is building against all the incumbents, I think his time is up.

        Somewhere in districts 5,6 or 7 I bet a tough on homeless candidate gets elected.

          1. Enforce vagrancy and drug laws. Probably never happen because those of us that want to clean up the city are such a small minority. Probably why the council freaked out and had an emergency session to remove the tax.

          2. I think they would:
            1) change the 72 hour parking law to apply to only commercial vehicles
            2) require that any non-profit that runs a permanent, or semi-permanent camps (tent city – all the mini-storage shed encampments) but not the nightly emergency shelters, do a background check so we don’t have pedophiles and rapists moving into camps 2 blocks from elementary schools (the “wet” camp on Aurora is 2 blocks from a middle and elementary school, and does not do any background checks, what so ever, and its also 100% ok to drink and do drugs, hence the “wet”)
            3) redirect the parking enforcement officers to equally enforce parking violations
            4) Start a zero tolerance for camping in parks. This is my huge personal issue, as I love parks. I love taking my kids to parks, and I think that parks should be for everyone. If you set up your tent in a park, that space is no longer public space.
            5) Start offering transportation support so homeless can reconnect with their family or other support system (yes I mean bus tickets out of town. Even Portland does this.
            6) Make the SPD ID every trespasser, or public intoxication/drug use. Record the person (ID, or fingerprint). SPD does not do this. Call out a social worker who can offer assistance. If they get picked up multiple times, and refuse assistance multiple times – jail. Or, if they are mentally ill – send them to Western State.

            7)——– The biggest one here — guarantee every child a home. The fact that we treat some meth-head thief the same as a child living in homelessness is the worst reflection of who we are as a city.

      2. There a few people in O’Brien’s district who have gotten exposure from the repeal referendum drive. I walk through the neighborhood all the time, and am struck by how many people who’d voted for O’Brien in the past, say “never again”. He’ll likely stay true to form, and deflect and virtue signal his way to November 2019, but there are a lot of people who are “woke” to his smugness and pandering (Nikkita Oliver is “the Mayor this city so desperately needs”? Really, Mike?).

        And, unfortunately, conditions on the streets are likely likely to get worse–even much worse–between now and election day. Every car broken into, every bicycle or propane tank or tool stolen, every public display of gross dyfunction, every home invaded, will cost O’Brien ever more loss of votes.

        Humpty Seattle has had a great fall, and all the virtue signals in the world won’t put her back together again.

        1. I’m sure ‘the Bike’ had good intentions – and he may have even believed he could enact real change. However, he, and the rest of the council, quickly dug a SJW hole they couldn’t get out of, because they didn’t research the issue well enough before promising to correct it. Now they’ve dug in so deep they can’t see any solution except to keep digging.

        2. Come on Harley, we all know it’s really you littering those “Visualize Recall” posters all over our neighborhood. O’Brien will win and you’ll continue to gripe on neighborhood blogs under your various sockpuppets.

          1. I know Harley has put some stickers and posters up but look for my posters- mostly printed on pink paper.
            I got a new one coming out soon. “GONE! In 2019”

  4. These are the clowns that are leading our city?

    What a goat rodeo. Too little too late… and the fact they couldn’t foresee this being political suicide is indicative of why they should be leading our city.

    Durkin won’t comment because she doesn’t need too… she won’t be working with them come November’s election.

    Vote O’Brien out!

  5. The only thing that happened here is that the council knows that elections are expensive.

    All the people complaining about how much money our council spends were about to make them spend a few million more to put it on a ballot? The guy collecting signatures at Fred Meyer was a sleezy ‘get-paid-by-the signature’ dude. I guess all that money Bezos spent worked

    1. Haha. Hey I’ve got an idea to improve middle class morale: tax them to pay for junkies, then call them “racist reactionaries” when they notice their neighborhoods fill up with crime and filth and they get car prowled while at work. Great plan, Leonard! Don’t forget the retail and grocery workers who regularly deal with dangerous thieves who feel like they “own the place” since the police can’t keep up with having an entire city’s worth of lawless criminals lurking around. Did you ever work in logistics? Didn’t think so.

      Don’t forget to mention Trump, Bezos, income inequality, etc while making excuses for the fact we can’t use many parks now due to the sheer number of SUBSIDIZED lunatic tweakers camping everywhere. Be sure to ban plastic bags and tax soda pop to “save the planet”.


      1. Car insurance is more expensive in Seattle compared to So Call for the same vehicle. Could it be related to car theft, car prowls, and vandalism?

    1. They way this town is so crazy for dogs, I suggest we cover all the homeless with fur, stamp a tail on them, and let people adopt them. That would clean the streets up real quick.

  6. This whole repeal shtick had been incredibly stupid from the start. I’ve seen so many people complaining about taxes (property taxes) and how they want to give homes to the homeless rather than subsidizing them on the street and then turn around and scream about a tax on the rich (which will allow the city to decrease property taxes over the long run as it taxes business and the rich instead) that is going to be used overwhelmingly to give homeless people homes directly (which is the cheapest way to handle the housing crises: 7500 per homeless person per year against the 17000 spent now). All of you who are screaming about taxes when it comes to this tax are literally shooting yourselves in the fucking foot and gaueunteeing either that your taxes will go up or city services will falter and your doing it for a snake of a human (Bezos) to boot.

    1. “which will allow the city to decrease property taxes over the long run”

      Legalized marijuana isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. That has to be the funniest thing i’ve read all day.

      “give homeless people homes directly”

      Have you seen the folks camping in the bushes and staggering across Ballard Commons? Sorry my friend, they are not house trained.

      1. Have you seen the folks camping in the bushes and staggering across Ballard Commons? Sorry my friend, they are not house trained.

        Then leave them alone and quit complaining about them if you think there’s nothing we can do.

        1. Great, a society with no rules. I’m gonna set up a drug camp in your garden, steal your stuff and ogle your daughters. Just let me know your address.

          And leave me alone. I’m oppressed.

        2. “Then leave them alone and quit complaining about them if you think there’s nothing we can do.”

          This is classic Truth right here. He spends all day fuming about lurking Russians but doesn’t care about the drug cartel and their gangs who keep the roaming junkies loaded while they prowl the neighborhood. Gee, anybody notice an uptick in gang violence the last few years? Don’t worry, folks like Truth prefer to demonize legal gun owners (many of whom are women) who want a fighting chance if attacked by violent felons.

          Keep it local, right Truth?
          Safe spaces for women, right Truth?


        3. Just let us just enjoy our rare victory. You guys win constantly with your desire to let drug addicts and criminals roam the streets. Just let us have this one.

    2. Nah. This is a way for a big portion of the electorate to send a message that the SCCs policies are failing…. and failing miserably.. and they’re ticked off. We’re already spending a phenomenal amount on homeless and we’re losing ground. The money is poorly spent.

      Bezos has little or nothing to do with this repeal/jail break. If most folks thought this head tax would “solve” the homeless problem they’d be for it. The money raised here will just be squandered and about 600 of our biggest employers will look to shrink their footprint here.

    3. I detest Amazon and Bezos, to be honest, but Seattle has been burning enormous piles of taxpayer dollars with nothing to show for it, and has no real plan for any additional revenue. SDoT has spend hundreds of thousands on “leadership consultants” to teach their inept mgt how to do their own jobs.

      The goofy, misguided “progressive practices first!” policies and insane monkey-grab taxation are failing in real time for us all to see. The Democrats should’ve cleaned up their own house years ago instead of castigating conservatives for stating the obvious.

      This city enjoyed (or endured) unprecedented growth and the council and various depts frittered it all away on czars, studies, cronyism and half baked plans that never materialized.

      A reckoning is long overdue. If it takes a “snake” like Bezos to act as a catalyst, so be it. No private enterprise could be run as poorly as this city and expect customer loyalty or shareholder confidence. They should feel lucky there isn’t a pitchfork mob storming city hall instead of having the unmitigated gall to seize more funds. Pathetic.

    4. A $275 tax per employee at Dick’s Drive in or on the cashier at Bartells us not taxing the rich. Do a little research before you did play your economic ignorance. You obviously didn’t listing to the UW professor that stated that this tax was a tax on worker’s wages not on “big business”.

      1. Then let’s revisit that 3% income tax on the wealthy initiative from a few years back.

        Or even better, Bezos is worth $140 billion. He could almost literally wiggle his nose, solve the homeless problem and probably still be richer than when he started.

        1. “Solve the homeless crisis”

          You mean somehow “solve” the army of drug addicts camping in the city? The only cure for that is proper law enforcement, instead of wasting millions on a corrupt machine which, even if it worked, can only help people who WANT TO BETTER THEMSELVES. C’mon Truth, this isn’t hard even for you.

  7. Here’s a solution to the homeless crisis: instate a mandatory public works program. We have roads that need repairing, parks that need cleaning, and all sorts of other menial tasks. Someone with no skills and an unproven track record can probably be easily trained to be a flagger or pick up litter (apologies if there are any flaggers reading this and it’s harder than I assume). Every morning, round them up, put them to work, and every night, give them cash money. This is their ‘reward’ for living rent-free in low-barrier housing. If they choose to get smashed on booze and drugs and don’t report for work the next day, 1 strike. At 3 strikes, they are removed from housing and placed into correctional facilities. It gives them ‘work’ (which is what our city council believes they all so desperately want) and gets some of our much-needed public works started.
    Eventually, those who show promise transition into more stable apartment dwelling, and continue to work, with subsidized rent. Soon, they’ll be adults who can go to work on their own and pay for their own goods and services, just like big boys and girls! Those who don’t want to be adults can be jailed, and supervised like the big children they are.
    Society has rules, and here’s a chance for all our homeless to play the game.

    1. Do that and then the Compassion Brigade will have to admit that a huge part of the hobby problem is, in fact, sloth and not capitalism.

      1. The council knows a large part of the problem is people who just don’t want to contribute. Normally, these people would live a more nomadic existence, going where there were temporary opportunities, and moving on when it became uncomfortable for them. Now, with out ‘welcome to all, put your feet up, stay awhile’ attitude towards the homeless, they have no reason to leave, and in fact, this attitude attracts more from out of state every day. But the council won’t admit they can’t separate the needy from the greedy, and thus try to shame us by calling us heartless, while trying to use a single ‘blanket’ approach to a multi-layered problem.

    1. The sad thing is, it really is the deserving homeless people who are suffering because of this. Our inept, incompetent, virtue-signalling city council botched Operation: End Homelessness so badly, that nobody wants to support it any longer. This is a good example of putting the cart before the horse; eventually, because of this, a crash occurs. Here’s the first movement in that pile-up.

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