There’s now a movement to repeal the tiny head tax passed by the Seattle City Council. Suddenly lots of folks are experts about how the city council could have just done something different and still somehow funded the massive number of homes we need to build in Seattle and King County in order to begin addressing homelessness for real and making homes affordable for all. Parts of the business community and local media have made this all about the minor costs of the tax and not the benefits.
But no one thinks the head tax was “the best” policy. In a better world, we’d have so many other options. In this one, there are almost no politically feasible ways to raise money to start investing in affordable homes, of which we need literally tens of thousands just to address immediate demand, never mind making it possible for less wealthy families to continue to live and work in Seattle.
Thus, here are ten better uses of time and money than working to repeal a policy that the Seattle City Council would repeal immediately if they had better options.
#1 Organize to pass an income tax to fix our regressive tax system.
#2 Seriously, organize to pass a capital gains tax, a fix to the 1% rule on property tax increases, really ANYTHING to fix the regressiveness of our tax system in Washington.
#3 Organize to pass something like what was attempted with California’s SB827 to require upzones and affordable housing investments all over the state.
#4 Help pass Seattle’s MHA upzone plan.
#5 Help pass the plan to make it easier to build granny flats and backyard cottages.
#6 Organize to end our system of racist, expensive and exclusionary zoning where most of the city of Seattle is devoted to single family homes.
#7 Tell the Seattle City Council that it’s absurd to build multi-million dollar luxury homes at Talaris right next to the University of Washington.
#8 Organize to improve renters rights both at the city and state level.
#9 Literally just pet some cats and dogs, have a beverage of your choice.
#10 Literally anything else like writing your Congress people or state legislators on these issues.
There are so many better options than fighting to prevent an incredibly tiny tax that might as well be a 1% tax on lattes for all the actual economic impact it will have on business. Your life is not worth the tiny amount of money businesses will have to pay with this tax. Work to pass what you want, not create fractious campaigns that will delay our chances of REAL improvements in peoples’ lives.