News Gleams: Harrell Introduces Head Tax Repeal, and Garden House Up For Sale

collected by Emerald Staff


Harrell Introduces Head Tax Repeal

As first reported in the Stranger, Seattle City Council President and District 2 (South) representative Bruce Harrell introduced an ordinance on Monday to repeal the city’s employee hours tax to fund affordable housing and homelessness services.

Commonly known as the “head tax”, the employee hours tax charges businesses with gross revenues in excise of $20 million annually a $275 tax per employee.

Speaking at a press conference, Harrell said in reference to an alternative plan that there was “no ordinance being drafted or a clearly articulated replacement strategy.”

In a statement on a potential vote on the repeal, councilmember Teresa Mosqueda said:

“There’s a lot of conversation about looking at other solutions.  The reality is, we’ve looked at a lot of them. I participated in the countywide ‘regional approach’ through One Table – a group that’s been indefinitely paused. We worked on a payroll tax option and moved away from it at the request of a few large businesses. We also paused revenue efforts last year to create a task force comprised of members of the business community and housing advocates – an effort that was boycotted by several larger corporations. I cannot support repeal of the EHT without a similarly sized progressive revenue option.”

Councilmembers are expected to vote on the repeal during a special full council meeting tomorrow. The tax was signed into law by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan last month and was scheduled to go into effect in 2019.


Beacon Hill Garden House Up for Sale

The Beacon Hill Garden House, currently the home of Beacon Arts, is being put up for sell. Beacon Arts is currently organizing a community meeting to be held at 7pm, Tuesday, June 12 at the Garden House (2336 15th Avenue) to discuss how to preserve it as a historic cultural site. Organizers hope to enlist volunteers to apply for Seattle Landmark Status, raise funds to purchase the property, and hire a real estate attorney.


King County NAACP to Hold Elections

Elections are now open for officeholders at The Seattle/King County NAACP. Anyone wishing to run for office must submit a consent to serve form to NAACP Office (715 23rd Ave, S. Seattle, WA 98144)  no later than June 15, 2018. In order to run for office or a seat on our Executive Committee, you must be a member of the Branch on or before April 1st this year and a member in good standing. The consent to serve form can be found online in NAACP Election Procedure Manual, completed and sent to the Branch by June 15, 2018 to qualify as a candidate.

Featured image courtesy of Seattle City Council

2 thoughts on “News Gleams: Harrell Introduces Head Tax Repeal, and Garden House Up For Sale”

  1. As long as I can remember Seattle has been a liberal caring city. That is partially why I live here. I live in SE Seattle because of SE’s racial make up. I wanted my children to grow up in a city that looked like the world. SE Seattle was White, Black, Asian, Hispanic and others with citizens who did not discriminate against the LGBY community. ‬‬‬‬‬

    ‪At last count Seattle was over 700,000 people and growing. We went from a one-pony (Boeing) town in 1970 to a vibrant city of many successful businesses. I remember when Boeing laid off 50,000 workers. Another 50,000 lost their jobs from subcontractors, restaurants, stores, service stations and hospitals, to mention a few. Someone placed a sign “Will the last person leaving SEATTLE–turn out the lights.” Most cities would be happy to have what we now have. In fact, many towns all over the US are bidding for our businesses. ‬‬‬

    ‪About the time unemployment went to record levels, in 1970 we had a group of bright young folks form CHECC, Choose and Effective City Council. From the late 1960’s early 1970’s, all nine member of the city council were replaced with CHECC’s new and bright candidates, Lamphere, Smith, Tuai, Cooley, Larkin, Hill, Williams, Miller, Chapman, and Ravelle, are the names I remember. They did not always agree, but what they did was good for the whole city and the City’s future. ‬‬‬

    ‪Our City Council is now an embarrassment for a city of our size or for that matter a city of any size. Have you heard the term decerebrate cat? This is an animal that has no connection to its brain but it limbs still twitch because of nerve stimulations. Our present council fills this definition to a “T.” There has not been any action taken by the city council in the last 10 years that could be categorized as well thought out much less brilliant. If this were the old west they would all be on crutches for having shot themselves in the foot. ‬‬‬

    How much did it cost the citizens of the city for the council to vote 100%, every last one of them, for the head tax. Now suddenly they are going to vote it out. We they drinking when they took the first vote, did they all have a simultaneous stroke or seizure. Now all of a sudden they are all thinking again. Is it simply they all think they will loose the next election for being stupid.

    ‪ Seattle is confined by the Sound and lake Washington. Our people need to go North and South. This makes for difficult traffic patterns. ‬‬We have spent millions screwing up our streets. Like it or not Seattle needs cars and trucks. Yet close to 70% of our major arterials have given up two of their four lanes to bicycles. Bicycles are about 1% of the vehicles on our streets. we have given away half of our major streets to 1% of the population.‬

    ‪We have spent millions trying to house the folks in tents. A large percentage of the homeless do not want the offer. Yes they are poor, yes many have drug problems, yes many have mental health issues. However, nothing that has been done has helped the problem. The Council throws millions at the problem with no accountability of how the money is spent for no positive effect. This seems to be a pattern of the Council. Throw money at the problem, do not account for how it is spent and move on to the next issue. Do not consider what is best for the whole city. Do not govern the whole city. ‬‬‬

    ‪We need to form CHECC again. Never in recent history has the city seen a less functional City Council. The Council’s time is spent on any and all problems of minorities while ignoring the major issues facing the city. All minorities should be treated fairly and equally but we cannot let running the city become that of a decerebrate animal twitching to every stimulus without having a cognitive leadership making decisions necessary to govern a city such as ours.‬‬‬

  2. I do not understand the thinking of Fred Q and so many others on this issue. The “job killing taxes” line is straight out of the Koch brothers right-wing, anti-labor play book. So is the line that this problem shouldn’t get any increased funding, but be entirely handled by more “efficiency.” This is the same excuse that was used to under fund schools for years. The third bogus line is to scapegoat the victims, many of whom work but can’t earn a living wage, and many more of whom might be able to function better if they got adequate social services help.
    Seattle has the most regressive tax system in the country, closely followed by the rest of the state. The poorest people pay the biggest portion of their income in taxes, and the richest pay by far the least. It’s a disgrace. Jeff Bezos was the public face of the opposition to the very mild income tax measure proposed in 2010. Now Amazon led the charge against paying .26 of 1% and then even .13 of 1% of its profits to help deal with a crisis that was caused by the astronomical rise in property values resulting from Amazon and other tech companies expansion here. Why shouldn’t they help pay for the social problems they help cause? The rich and the richest corporations must start to pay something, or the rest of us will be on the street soon enough.
    It’s already a disgrace that so many people of color have been forced out of the city, because of the multitude forms of systemic racism and unequal jobs and earning power.