When Mayor Murray stepped up to the microphone Monday with Dow Constantine and Highlands billionaire Ed Hightower, he officially decided to make Seattle’s homelessness problem everyone’s problem.
The last time we talked about this homelessness plan, Ed Murray was proposing a $275 million property tax on the city of Seattle. Now they are going to scrap that and try to raise the sales tax .01 percent countywide in 2018. We’ve already got the highest sales tax in the United States of America and Mayor Murray and Dow Constantine are proposing a countywide increase.
It’s another stunning reversal from a mayor who very famously said when asked about the homeless problem, responded: “We’re actually making this up as we go along.”
Monday was yet another example of that.
Ed Murray has largely created this homelessness problem in Seattle and is doing another about-face on how to deal with it.
There is no way we should all have to pay for his problem. And the fact that he has, for weeks, been talking about this property-tax levy like some sort of panacea and now reverses to say: Actually, we’re going to try and tax everyone in the county – any of us would be idiots to go along with him.
Let’s think about what’s going on here. Murray has contributed mightily to this problem with all of the policies he and Seattle’s city council have enacted. They have allowed the streets of Seattle to be filled with tents, tarps and litter. It is indeed Freattle. And now they want the people of Duvall and Baring and Skykomish and Maple Valley and Enumclaw and North Bend — everybody in the county — to pay for Seattle’s issue.
You try to escape Seattle’s madness by moving to the burbs or the rural areas, and they drag it back in your face.
I have no doubt what has happened. For the first time, Murray’s office did some polling on this massive property tax increase and they weren’t liking the way the numbers looked. Remember, the homeless issue has been carefully crafted by the mayor to be a powerful tool for raising taxes, a visible problem that would make people so desperate to clean up the streets that they’d be willing to accept this massive property tax increase. I’m just guessing here, but my hunch is the polling showed that for the first time people were saying: It’s too much.
In case you haven’t noticed, Seattle’s sales tax is already at a ridiculous 10.1 percent and some other cities in King County are just a tenth or so behind and may zoom past.
It’s time for the mayor to start cleaning up the streets with the resources that they have. And that means providing the services – mental health for the chronically ill; addiction counseling for the hopeless, helpless and hapless souls that want to reclaim their lives. But for Mayor Ed Murray, this is always about how can I get more tax dollars out of the problem that I’ve created.