Big businesses have launched a well-funded campaign to mislead voters and advance a trickle-down, anti-tax, anti-government agenda. Here's some info on what they're saying.. and what the real story is.
And if you have a question or thought to add — whether it's your own, or something you've heard from the people out gathering signatures to try and repeal the tax — click here to share it with us.
IF THEY TRY TO TELL YOU “We keep spending more money, but the problem keeps getting worse.”
Our investments in affordable housing and services are working — 5,000 people exited homelessness last year alone. But more people are becoming homeless each year, because rapid growth in the tech sector has pushed rents sky high, and our resources simply haven’t kept up with the need because those can afford to contribute the most just haven’t stepped up.
The federal government has abdicated its responsibility, and the county hasn’t stepped up to do their part. Seattle can’t fix that alone, but we can keep on making the investments we need to and we can make sure the biggest businesses in our city do their part too.
A report commissioned by the big business lobby found that the only way to address the crisis was a substantial new investment in housing of as much as $400 million. The business lobby then refused to release the study because they didn’t want people to know that this tax would be a step in the right direction.
if they try to tell you: “There’s no accountability for how the money has been spent.”
Money from the big business tax will be spent primarily on new affordable housing for extremely poor people. This is what every expert recommends as the most important place for new investments, including the Poppe report, the business lobby group’s report, and the city and county’s own internal assessments.
A report commissioned by the big business lobby found that service providers are efficiently delivering services to address the crisis. The business lobby then refused to release the study because they didn’t want people to know.
IF THEY TRY TO TELL YOU “This will kill jobs!”
Companies open up shop in Seattle because it’s where they can find the employees & customers they need. That won’t change because of a modest tax that falls only on the biggest businesses in the city.
In fact, the biggest problem facing employers in Seattle is not being able to find enough workers to fill the jobs.
The same people driving the same trickle-down agenda have whined that the sky is going to fall every time they are held accountable to pay their workers a living wage, invest in their communities, or treat people with dignity — and the scare stories never come true.
The Chicken Little routine is getting a little boring — the world won’t end if the biggest businesses have to step up and do their part.
IF THEY TRY TO TELL YOU “These people don’t want help, they just come here for all the free stuff.”
Homelessness is a national crisis because wages are too low and rent is out of control.
Our economy is wildly out of balance — half of people don’t even have $400 saved up for an emergency, so any rent increase moves you dangerously close to losing your housing entirely.
We know people are being pushed out into their their friends' houses, their cars, or the streets because they just can't afford the rent. What people need more than anything is a place to call home.
We can’t solve our housing crisis unless we invest in good jobs and affordable housing. That’s why we’ve fought to raise wages and lift up labor standards, and that’s why we’re fighting to ensure the biggest 600 corporations in our city do their part too.
IF THEY TRY TO TELL YOU “Workers shouldn’t have to pay another tax.”
The biggest businesses are the only ones that pay the tax — not fast food workers, not construction workers, not you, and not me.
This is one of the few options the city has in state law to assess a progressive tax on the biggest businesses who can most afford it — it simply ensures that big businesses with more than $20 million in revenue do their part too.