That said, it's better than nothing!
All this would really seem to do is piss off Amazon and Microsoft and the other big players, which is kind of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
With the way the housing market is going, and the upcoming King County property tax hike, I wouldn't be surprised if tech workers started creeping out into Snohomish County and favoring jobs on the Eastside instead of Seattle due to traffic.
The east side is as expensive as Seattle.
Most of Sodo still isn't zoned for residential.
My girlfriend was recently assaulted downtown by a homeless person which is why we liked kirkland when we checked it out because there seemed to be less of them in kirkland.
I think the homeless problem should be tackled on a federal level since it is easy for them to move states but not countries. Thus, any non-federal government that spends tax revenue to help the homeless will likely just attract more homeless people from other areas worsening the local populations lives through the negative externalities and the costs which only reduce other local areas homeless externalities/expenses.
Seattle seems to be growing strong with this methodology which is why I am against taxes like this that incentivize the homeless to move here.
91% of the homeless in Seattle are from the greater Seattle region. Home prices have doubled in 10 years, and tripled if you count the bottom of the great recession. Renters have had to move further and further away. Saying there's no effect on people falling into homelessness is both silly and dangerous.
That's not to say Seattle doesn't have some of the blame - they are not great at solving actual problems with their tax money, they're slow, and they don't tend to enforce a lot of quality of life things like panhandlers or break-ins.
But for heavens sake, if you suddenly drop a huge amount of upper class people that buy up all the housing in an area you should have to be at least partially responsible for cleaning up the consequences.
Don't know where you are getting those numbers but only 20% were born or grew up in king county according to the most recent report: http://allhomekc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/2017-Count-U...
And I would be fine spending 10 times this money if there were any indication that it would fix the problem so my girlfriend could actually feel safe walking around downtown without getting assaulted again but it does not seem that way.
As a society do we value homeless or contributors ( taxpayers ) more?
When you enact policies and taxes like this you reward being homeless and push out people who contribute. You say, 'yes, it's ok to shit on my sidewalk and leave needles everywhere and accost my children as they're walking to school.' And yes, that's an extreme, but it happens everyday in SF. And, to me, it's unacceptable. It's unacceptable that we allow that.
You: "But, What about the homeless people?"
Me: "What about my children who have to step over their shit on the way to school?"
Yes, feel bad. But we need to be tough too. If you accost my kid on the way to work, you should not be allowed to be on the street. Even if you're homeless. When did homeless become a protected class?
There's 'I want to better myself and get back on the right track' homeless and 'Fuck you, eat my shit kid' homeless. I support the former. And believe the latter should not be allowed on our streets.
The belief that if we are "too nice" to homeless people it will encourage them is counter to the facts, with Utah only the latest example. There are plenty of people who live in their cars in south Seattle who have jobs, who want a place to live.
If they raised everyone's taxes on my pay scale and above by 2%, and un-restricted building in much of the city, it would go a million times further to make it a more livable city for everyone than this tax.
You think the "rich techies" are out to get you? That they want to displace you? No. 98% of them are just trying to live, just like you and everyone else.
But if we just "raise taxes" everything will be better. Look at our current political, at all scales, system. When recently has giving money to career politicians actually made our infrastructure, education, and healthcare better?
People look to the government as this panacea. I truly don't get it.
The council quite openly sees economic growth as the source of all it's problems, which they have mostly created for themselves. As they have no idea how to manage these problems, and as most of their attempts to do so have in fact made them worse, the only thing they can do to further shirk responsibility is to implement more taxes.
It's hard to see why a business today would plan to base itself in Seattle, or expand on operations there. If Amazon hadn't already completed so much of the construction on its latest building there, I can't imagine they'd be committing to finishing it. Which will all in turn make Seattle's problems even worse.
You also have things perfectly backwards. These companies are what is driving growth in Seattle, not the other way around. These companies are responsible for more than doubling local government revenue in the past decade. The companies create the growth, not the ‘amenities’ of Seattle city.
If you don’t like or don’t know how to manage economic growth, then by all means, make the environment as hostile as you can for businesses. You only need to look at Detroit to see how beneficial it can be when an entire industry leaves town.
Why in the world would companies insist on staying in the bay area when they could pay people half in Ohio? This is HN, and story after story talks about how VCs /demand/ you locate yourself in the bay for the talent pool.
Seattle is in no danger of becoming Detroit, or an entire industry leaving, not when software skills are as in demand as they are right now. Its in no danger of Amazon picking up and leaving. Reminder, we're talking about $20 million dollars here, which is less than the budget for benches outside their brand new buildings.
I honestly think it would be a great thing for companies to go set up somewhere else and not over-inflate the 4-5 "chosen" tech areas. Maybe then housing prices can get reasonable, and some town that desperately needs any jobs can get started again.
Seattle is oversubscribed, I hope you are right that the companies/startups will move back east to take off the pressure. But somehow I doubt it will happen like that.
Course, Microsoft has a bunch of buses they use to move engineers from Seattle to Redmond, but like Google does between SF and Mountain View. I guess that could work, but it doesn't really make the traffic better.
Preferences aside though, the one thing the east has that Seattle City doesn't is abundant space.
In spite of all the bitching about California, more people come in than go out.
And, do those areas really care about the kind of jobs that actually could move?
The truth is the direct opposite:
> California continues to see more folks moving elsewhere in the nation rather than relocating here
> Last year, California had 142,932 more residents exit to live in other states than arrive
> California’s net outmigration has been ongoing for two-decades-plus.
This is correct.
> The truth is the direct opposite:
No, even your source doesn't support this. You have confused what your source says about domestic migration with total migration. More people are coming in to California than leaving (the state has positive net total migration) even though more people are leaving California for other states than are coming from other states (negative net domestic migration.)
The big issue with the migration differential is that it is expensive to move into California while it is relatively cheap to move out.
So, you need a job and you have to save money to eat the differential (rent increase, security deposits, car registration) if you want to move into the state.
Selling your house in most other states barely gets you a down payment on a house in California.
On the other hand, Californians selling their houses and then paying cash to buy another house in Texas, Oregon, etc. is sufficiently common that most of such places have derogatory terms for it.
I know it makes people feel good, but honestly, the only answer to homelessness is a federal approach. Piecemeal approaches tend to attract people to homeless friendly places creating a positive feedback loop.
Why not go the whole hog and institute an “automation tax”. Tax companies for every job they automate which leads to an unemployed willing worker, avoiding the creation of a homeless pop. This would be less ridiculous.
In a couple of years the city council will move to raise the head tax, stating that their new record tax receipts are not enough to implement their working solution. It is easy to spend money that isn't yours.
The city of Seattle has had record tax receipts for the past couple of years and yet they somehow are always "short" on money.
So tax revenues for the city are close to 100% increase. If you see the Census for the year 2000, the population of Seattle is at 564k. For the year 2016, the population is at 750k or so. So a 100% tax revenue increase and a 50% population increase. I'd dare say the city council is just belligerent with other people's money.
Also, there is a legitimate far left socialist on the board. You should watch the Shapiro debate against the Seattle $15 min wage. She's full of ideas with no substance to back it up.
The economy doesn't grow for most of the population, only those with the ability and skills to ride the wave. The rest are pushed out and forgotten. This is like asking why someone like Trump would get elected when GDP is at an all time high.
More real work,
far fewer distractions,
5 second commute vs. 45-60 minutes each way.
That's just for starters.
I do support a more fair tax in Bay Area that goes directly to transportation and infrastructure improvement
So what's your idea for how to raise money to deal with homeless people. My idea is copy what worked in Utah, which is start with building tons of housing, enough for all the homeless people.
I think the homeless problem should be tackled on a federal level since it is easy for them to move states but not countries. Thus, any non-federal government that spends tax revenue to help the homeless will likely just attract more homeless people from other areas worsening the local populations lives through the negative externalities and the costs which only reduce other local governments homeless expenses.
Several years ago, some friends were looking to purchase a starter home in Seattle, maybe for $250k or so. But they had such a killer deal on rent, they opted to wait a few more years, to save up more money.
Well, in the next few years that dream quickly slipped through their fingers. Now you have to pay upwards of $500k just to get some as-is teardown that you’re not even allowed to look inside before you buy.
The only thing that will really help over the long term is building even more apartments.
How dare people blame the poor and beleaguered city government for not solving the city’s mental health problem. Record tax revenues? It’s still not enough.
Seriously though, isn’t this the deal? Business brings in good paying jobs and pays taxes, city lays down the infrastructure to support commerce. With record tax revenues the city government isn’t holding up their end of the bargain.
I know this is happening in every city, but it's very pronounced in Seattle. The city shuts down at 9PM because no one lives there and then the homeless spill over into the empty well scrubbed streets.
It's soul has been sucked out and been replaced with techno culture. A weird head tax is a reasonable ding for an exasperated set of natives, but someone has to find a way to balance these concerns. Or not... I shudder to think of what the bay, Seattle, Austin, Denver, Boston, etc are going to become without all the people that make up a city that aren't just there to get their next rung up on the way to be CTO for their own gig app.