Despite polling that suggested every Seattle "head tax" proposal had little support, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a $275 per-employee tax targeting Seattle's biggest businesses. Now, businesses large and small are fighting back: they're actively collecting signatures for a referendum to overturn the tax.
In response, unhinged progressive activists are going to great lengths to find any business that supports the referendum in order to boycott them, though, inexplicably, the activist behind the boycott list claimed it doesn’t really exist. Screenshots of her online conversation suggests she’s not being truthful.
The boycott list idea was started on socialist City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant’s personal Facebook page, and the discussion is as nuts as you think it would be.
Local activist Diane Rose Vincent noticed a West Seattle restaurant posted the petition backing the referendum and complained about it on Sawant’s page. Someone asked her, “where is the boycott list?” noting that they had a list to boycott businesses that stood in the way of raising the minimum wage to $15/hour. Vincent replied, “we’re starting one.”
When asked by another commenter to “please send me the boycott list on FB when you have it,” Vincent responded that she needed help looking up profiles that "liked" the petition post so she can identify the businesses to boycott. Indeed, she ended up calling out four businesses: Peel & Press Pizza and Spirits, which posted the petition, and three business owners that apparently "liked" the post.
When I asked Vincent about the boycott list via email, her response was kind of adorable: “There is no ‘boycott list’ that I’m aware of and I never said the word ‘boycott’. There really is no story here.”
When I emailed her a screenshot of the discussion about the boycott list, Vincent stopped responding. Oops.
The other comments on Sawant’s post are frighteningly uninformed.
One commenter asked if the businesses against the head tax realize it’s only for businesses “making over $20 million?”
This is naive — and misleading. The head tax is based on $20 million in gross revenue, not net — which means it’s not on companies bringing home $20 million in profits at the end of the day. That’s before they’re hit with the insane tax burden they owe.
But, as the owner of Peel & Press explained to me on the Jason Rantz Show, it hits him because the vendors he purchases from are raising their prices due to the head tax. That means he’ll have to raise menu prices at a business that offers an already-low profit margin.
“It's hillariously aweful [sic] for a group to look at big business paying taxes to reduce homelessness and think ‘SOS, those poor businesses are in trouble!’" claimed one commenter incapable of using Facebook’s built-in spellcheck.
But the City of Seattle has spent tens of millions a year on homelessness and the problem has only gotten worse.
“Businesses in Seattle account for 60 percent of the city’s total general fund budget,” wrote ZippyDogs co-founder Elise Lindborg. “Based on the City Councils past performance their fiscal responsibility has been a joke!”
Indeed, a county-wide audit showed horrible mismanagement and a lack of communication in tackling homelessness. Only recently did Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announce that she’ll start demanding the city work more closely with the county on homelessness efforts. Additionally, the audit says Seattle lacks “affordable” housing. But what did the Council do this week? They passed a resolution for another property tax, hitting homeowners and businesses near the Seattle waterfront. It’s so expensive in Seattle that they’re adding another property tax?
Seattle doesn’t need more money to tackle homeless; it needs better leaders.