Dori: 1,049 Seattle employees making over $150K exempt from jobs tax

Jan 31, 2020, 4:18 PM | Updated: Feb 1, 2020, 8:13 am

seattle head tax, jobs tax...

Signs await supporters and opponents of the Seattle's 2018 head tax. (Hanna Scott, KIRO Radio)

(Hanna Scott, KIRO Radio)

This new House bill for a King County jobs tax shows the sleaze of the people in charge here.

The tax would affect businesses with employees making $150,000 or more per year. King County businesses with 50 employees or more would be subject to the tax. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and King County Executive Dow Constantine knew from the 2018 Seattle head tax debacle that they couldn’t pass a jobs tax that way, so they went straight to the Legislature to accomplish it.

By the way, if you wonder why I’m calling it a jobs tax, it’s because a head tax is a euphemism. This is a jobs tax. And when you tax things — whether cigarettes, alcohol, or jobs — there will be less of those things.

It will start out as just applying to King County businesses with 50 employees, but you know that over time this tax will expand to more counties and smaller businesses. Any time we give government a new tax toy, they abuse the heck out of it. Every tax skyrockets. The sales tax was 4 percent when I was a kid; now it’s up to 10.

King County Councilmember Dunn: County jobs tax will hurt the poor

But then I found out something about this jobs tax I didn’t know. Local governments would be exempt from it. How sleazy is that?

Government says it’s because they would have to take away vital dollars from other funds to pay the tax. Hey government, what do you think private companies have to do when you keep taxing them to death? They can’t just manufacture the money out of thin air. They actually have to pull money from other line items in their budget. It might make the difference between making a profit that year and just breaking even (or going in the red). It may stop them from being able to grow that year.

How many government employees do you think make over $150,000 per year? Sound Transit has 80 employees making over that amount. The Port of Seattle has 196. The King County government has 522. This is clearly not just department heads making that large of a sum.

But the winner in our Sweepstakes of Greed is the City of Seattle. The City of Seattle has 1,049 employees making over $150,000 per year. Do you think we’re getting our money’s worth from all of those workers? I’m sure we are from a few. But I doubt we are from all 1,049, seeing as Seattle is engulfed by homelessness and drug use and property crime and traffic congestion.

Luckily for Seattle, the city won’t have to pay for all of these workers.

We have spent over $10 billion on the homelessness-industrial complex in the last 14 years, and the problem has gotten dramatically worse. Think about that. There is no correlation between money and solving the homelessness problem. There is an absolute correlation between a lack of drug prosecution and the homelessness problem.

What this county-wide jobs tax shows is that the Seattle sleaze is spreading like the coronavirus all around the region.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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