Thursday, July 20, 2017
Seattle Votes to Tax the Rich
Seattle has a history of progressive action. Cementing its reputation in the present, socialists on Seattle's city council succeeded by unanimous vote in passing a tax on the wealthy to pay for social services last week. The law provides for a 2.25% on individuals who have incomes over $250,000 and married couples whose income exceeds $500,000. The new tax is expected to raise $175 million for social programs such as affordable housing, transit and education. The passage came despite warnings of economic repercussions from resident billionaires. Social activists at work since the Occupy movement to introduce fairness into the tax structure were particularly pleased with the city council's action. A group known as Social Action took credit for making a vote against the proposal politically untenable. It raised a record half million dollars in contributions campaigning on an explicit "tax the rich" demand. The organization also campaigned to rescind a regressive sales tax, but lost that battle. A right wing organization, Freedom Foundation, has filed a lawsuit claiming the new tax is illegal because it violates a state law forbidding cities from taxing net income.