The Seattle Head Tax #WTF?

Holy shit y’all. So Seattle just passed the head tax. This is all fine and dandy and whatever, but between Sawant acting the bully and claiming Amazon was being a bully here’s my number one concern at this point.

Here I sort of agree with Sawant, but also very much with the reality of what just happened I’m concerned with what the hell the city is going to be held accountable to. They effectively just voted a big chunk of money into their coffers but I have seen very few things about where, when, or how they intend to build housing. I’m not even on to the topic of the travesty of housing that was built for people in St Louis, New Orleans, or hundreds of other locations throughout America. Heaven forbid we talk about the horrid conditions the Government(s) of America screwed minorities and others over with in building the housing. Is Seattle prepared to build housing through public means? How do we ensure fairness of this and actually ensure that people keep moving upwards from that system out of the future public housing to ensure people don’t get stuck at the bottom?

Does Seattle really even have a plan beyond, get more money and spend it somewhere? There’s been little on that matter and it’s very concerning. I want people to have a place to live, and to go, and to move up in the world – not just a slight displacement from campers and campsites to trash dump of poorly maintained public housing! Which honestly, is about what every public housing setup has become over time throughout the US (besides a racist cesspool to funnel minorities). I’m honestly not sure Seattle is prepared or ready for this, I hope and wish us well on the matter, but this I bet is going to get tricky and real soon, real dicey.

In addition, when we take the hit and companies start to skirt their ways out of this, when does that get remedied, and if the housing actually does get built one of these days how to do we ensure that sidewalks, trails, and public spaces stay clear then? Do we allow ourselves to enforce some law or rule around that?

Anyway, if you have more links, information, or other details, please leave a comment with info.


  1. I think that the problem is properly defined as lack of affordable housing. The most obvious symptoms being people who are homeless, or forced to live in their vehicles or couch surf. And it is perfectly obvious that the only way to deal with homelessness – and similar issues – is to provide homes. And cities used to do that nearly everywhere – and some still do – and others have woken up to the fact of the crisis and are acting accordingly. So, for example, Vancouver BC starts putting up housing made from surplus shipping containers on land it owns or land which is awaiting development and formerly homeless persons appreciate that and start the process of becoming full citizens again. Civilized places like Vienna have long had publicly funded housing and never fell for neoliberal theorizing about the supposed benefits of tax cuts, markets and all the other twaddle. So we can go there and see how it is done for those born too long after good examples were ended. And the sorry US experience of the projects can also be usefully kept in mind at the same time.


    1. Yeah, I hope they can do that, exactly that, build housing in Seattle. I’m just not really sure of Seattle’s competence in doing so. Which is what worries me now. Albeit doing a head tax, or anything to gain revenue to do this with, is exactly what was promised with the election and the mayor is coming through on those terms.

      We shall see. I’m not sure what’s even on the books as for accountability or promises of what type of housing or if actual housing will even be delivered though. 😦

      It’s gonna be interesting to see the coming battle though. I bet it’ll get even rougher in the coming days, but I honestly hope it doesn’t and they break ground sooner than later!


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