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May 17 2018

Seattle Times: Citizens Should Overturn the City Council's Hostile-to-Business Head Tax

by Charlotte Hays

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously to impose a potentially job-killing head tax on the tech companies that have made the city famous for more than the scenery, but the editors of the daily newspaper have cooler heads.

In an impassioned editorial, citizens are urged to overturn the "destructive , opportunity-killing" head tax through a citizens' initiative. The editors also rap the Council members for their "hostility towards business." It is an excellent editorial:

In affirming its hostility to employers with a punitive job tax, the Seattle City Council is causing major harm to the city’s economic stability and long-term prosperity.

A majority of council members are up for election next year and should face consequences, but that may be too late.

Citizens of Seattle should respond with an initiative to the people, rejecting this harmful tax on jobs before it takes effect in 2019. Only 21,770 signatures — 10 percent of the turnout in last year’s mayoral race — are needed to get it on the ballot.

Such an initiative should also address the underlying need to better help the homeless population by calling for an independent review of Seattle’s homeless spending to increase efficiency and help more people. Spending is approaching $70 million this year.

As I noted in a piece for The Hill, Amazon, one of the companies that has protested the head tax, set up a homeless shelter at its headquarters. Mary's Place is designed provides shelter for 200 women, children, and families every night.

Instead of working with such companies to confront the city's homeless emergency, the Council has decided to squeeze them (and are you confident that the Council will spend the revenue wisely, once they rake it in?).

Since most newspaper people are not conservatives, it is interesting that the editors acknowledged the City Council's animus towards business. 

The anti-business bias is reminiscent of the outlook of Washington in the previous administration. And we know how well that worked.

If I were the sort to resort to cliches, I'd talk insert a line here about about killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

If Seattle succeeds in chasing businesses away, that is exactly what it will be doing.

IIndependent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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