Last month, the Seattle City Council approved a tax on jobs that would charge the city’s 600 largest companies $275 per employee. Immediately after this tax was passed, Seattle residents made sure their voices were heard loud and clear: a jobs tax would hurt Seattle.
Also immediately following the vote, a referendum called No Tax on Jobs that quickly gathered strong support from all over the city was created to repeal the tax. According to KING 5, the important referendum received more than 45,000 signatures, which is almost triple the required amount, as 17,632 signatures would be needed to get it on the ballot.
After just one month since the law had been passed and a whole lot of outrage, the Seattle City Council voted to repeal the jobs tax. Sadly, the about face was not because the city council listened to voters. Seattle City Councilmembers see their listening activities as little more than an opportunity to hear opposing points of view, which they use against the well meaning citizens who think their city council cares about their concerns. In politics we call that easy opposition research! Rather, in the face of certain embarrassment that their misguided jobs tax would be repealed by a super majority of voters in November, the Seattle City Council repealed it themselves.
As Seattle City Councilmembers work to cover their tracks, we cannot forget about the failed jobs tax. The city council will no doubt use every opportunity going forward to recoup the lost opportunity to hit-up the employers and citizens in Seattle to pay for their Utopian housing policies. Voters in Seattle must remain vigilant, remembering the misguided jobs tax and other ill advised efforts when they vote in November 2019, when there will be seven councilmembers up for reelection.