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Seattle Caves on “Head Tax” As Businesses Threaten To Leave The City

The leaders of Seattle just repealed a phenomenally incompetent tax that would punish employers for having the audacity to hire people. I KNOW…can you believe a giant, selfish corporation would give people opportunity and a paycheck?

The tax is called a “head tax” which in some municipalities means completely different things (see East St. Louis), but this was taxing businesses It would have charged companies about $275 per full-time worker each year for affordable housing and homeless services.

It targeted nearly 600 businesses making at least $20 million in gross revenue and would have taken effect next year.

The tax was created out of whole cloth by some doofus who saw there is a problem with homelessness probably created by the city government, and they saw the solution as more government.

Would this new “head tax” have put a dent in the homeless problem in Seattle?  No, of course not, just look at San Francisco.

Traditionally, some have called increased taxes and expansive programs as the folly of “good intentions”, but I believe the left has actually bypassed that by not only proposing bureaucratic government “solutions” (that NEVER work) but eagerly looking for way to punish “greedy big business”.

What’s worse about this latest scheme is I believe those who wanted to impose this tax and create this program know in their hearts it won’t work, but they are creating another great, big government bureaucracy that will ensure their ilk with maintain lucrative careers and benefits in the public sector.

In January, Seattle enacted a sweetened beverage tax meaning of 1.75 cents an ounce on surgary beverages. The result: A case of Gatorade that used to cost $15.99 now costs $26.33 — a 65% markup. A case of Dr. Pepper now costs $17.55 instead of $9.99, according to Costco. That’s a 76% surcharge. The result: people in Seattle proper are buying their sodas and Gatorades elsewhere.  This tax was repealed in Chicago as a gigantic failure.

When I lived in Maryland, the “Maryland General Asylum” (General Assembly) passed a “rain tax” which would have required business and individuals to pay per square foot of “Impermeable surfaces” for the amount of rain that falls on them annually.  The goal was to “save the Chesapeake Bay” as all of the rain that falls in Maryland apparently ends up in the Chesapeake Bay.  This means, business are charged for square footage of roofs and parking lots.  Individuals would have to pay for the roofs of their houses, their driveways, sheds, patios and even children’s play houses.

This would have required satellite data on hundreds of thousands of individual businesses, homes, church parking lots and more.  I offered the state the opportunity to put a harmless radioactive isotope on my roof and driveway to see how far the water that fell on it would travel as I quite logically assumed it would pretty much evaporate or being absorbed into my back yard.

I didn’t hear back from the state of Maryland, but apparently some people realized what a colossal boondoggle it would have been.

Time and time again leftist busy-body academics who become government administrators or representatives propose government solutions for problems government creates and expect different results.

They are almost all the time completely wrong.  The Seattle “Head Tax” is the latest example.  Government can repeal poorly thought out taxes. Unfortunately, they can’t repeal stupidity.


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