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Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, heat tax
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Jason Rantz

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Rantz: Need heat for a cold Seattle night? There’s a heat tax for that

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. (Seattle Channel)

If you’re looking to stay warm on a cold Seattle night, bad news: You’ll have to pay a heat tax. And, apparently, elderly residents will be hit the hardest.  

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Mayor Jenny Durkan just signed into law a tax on home heating oil that is supposed to serve as an incentive to move to a cleaner form of heating systems. Of course, it won’t do that. This is literally about nickel-and-diming residents, all while Durkan proclaims how unaffordable Seattle has become.

Under the legislation, you’ll be taxed 24 cents per gallon of heating oil used. This impacts about 18,000 Seattle households according to The Seattle Times.

“We’re in a fight for our climate and we’ve got to be tackling every source,” Durkan told the Times. “We know our greenhouse gas emissions come mostly from transportation and buildings, so we’ve got to tackle those.”

Home heating oil only accounts for about 2 percent of total emissions in Seattle and this tax directly hits senior citizens, who apparently own homes that are more likely to use home heating oil. So we’re charging elderly people more money to stay warm on some bitterly cold nights. That sounds like a great plan.

A gallon costs approximately $3.00, which means the 24 cents won’t incentivize any change in behavior, especially since it can cost up to $15,000 to convert the energy method the Durkan administration prefers. Much like the soda tax, it’s low enough to ensure people continue their habits, but high enough for the City to squeeze meaningful money out of you. It’s death by a thousand paper cuts — in tax form.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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