Seattle mulls repealing controversial 'head tax' on employees
Last month, the city of Seattle passed a ludicrous anti-business tax that had socialists across the country cheering, but business groups blowing the city council a raspberry.
They called it a "head tax" – a $275 tax per employee on Seattle businesses over a certain size. The measure was designed to raise $47 million a year in new revenue.
The pushback from businesses has been intense, and now the city council may repeal the bill.
The Seattle Times reported Monday night that Council President Bruce Harrell "without warning" scheduled a meeting for Tuesday to vote on repealing the $275-per-employee annual tax, with which the city hoped to raise $47 million annually to fund housing and anti-homelessness programs – a move widely praised by progressive activists nationwide.
According to the Times, Mr. Harrell, Mayor Jenny Durkan, and six other council members signaled their support for repealing the tax, which had provoked a furious backlash from businesses such as Amazon.
"Council members said polling and talks with constituents had persuaded them to change course," the Times reported.
"The people I talk to, whether it's at the grocery store or coffee shop or basketball game, people do not seem convinced the employee-hours tax strategy is the right solution," Mr. Harrell told the Times in an interview at City Hall. "I think we have to listen."
A Tuesday repeal also could have a political-motive angle.
A campaign called No Tax on Jobs was scheduled to submit the needed signatures Tuesday to put a repeal of the "head tax" on the November ballot, a referendum that would have at least the potential of catching council members' re-election campaigns in the crossfire.
Of all the cockamamie schemes dreamed up by liberals to separate the taxpayer from his hard earned coin, this one may top the list. You don't have to have an MBA to figure out the massive negative impact such a tax would have on the local economy. Like the $15-an-hour minimum wage that has depressed several industries in the city, including restaurants and fast food outlets, such a head tax would deliver the coup de grâce to the city's economy.
Even Amazon, a good corporate citizen ordinarily, balked at the tax. The region's largest employer no doubt let it be known that there are greener pastures for the company to explore as a moving option.
That alone would have given the city council a case of the jitters, making repeal a foregone conclusion.