That tweet there isn't some kind of fable about what happens when rich people embrace their worst instincts and scorn their community. It's the news, today.
And it really distills what (and who) is behind the push to repeal Seattle's new big business tax and eliminate funding for affordable housing.
Right now in Seattle, some of the richest humans and the largest corporations in the world are coming out in full force to try to mislead us and distract us from the real problems: housing affordability & homelessness. They're trying to use threats and lies to get their way. They're creating a climate of hatred towards poor people to advance an anti-government, trickle-down agenda. But we can't let them get away with it.
So as this conversation continues in Seattle, across the state, and across the nation, here's some key information to keep in mind.
Our city is facing an affordable housing & public health crisis.
There are thousands of people in our city without a place to call home, and 169 people died homeless in the Seattle area last year. Low-wage jobs and high rent are closely tied to homelessness; half of us don’t even have $400 saved up for an emergency, so skyrocketing rent threatens the loss of housing entirely.
The biggest businesses in our city need to do their part too.
While the rapid growth of high-paying jobs at big corporations has brought big money to Seattle, it's also driven up rent and other costs of living for everyone else who's not working in the tech industry. Just like the rest of us pay our taxes, the 600 or so biggest businesses in the city should also pay towards helping address our citywide housing & homelessness crisis.
The biggest businesses are the only ones that pay the tax — not fast food workers, not construction workers, not you, and not me.
Amazon will pay $11 million — or about 0.006% of their global revenue last year. Only the top 600 or so companies in Seattle will pay the tax — and it will barely affect their bottom line. The Puget Sound Business Journal estimates that Uwajimaya will contribute a total of about $60,000 on annual revenue of more than $20 million. Dick's Drive-In will contribute about $50,000 on annual revenue of more than $20 million. This is an effective tax rate of about 0.2% on these businesses.
This isn't about money, it's about power.
Giant corporations like Amazon simply don't want to do their part. Instead of paying their taxes, they want to be paid tribute. So they're stoking a climate of hatred towards poor people, trying to undermine the very idea that government has a role to play to address income inequality and our housing crisis. Because that way, they're in charge, and the rest of us don't have a say.
We get to make decisions about what kind of community we want to live in.
From the city’s groundbreaking housing levy to paid sick days to the $15 minimum wage, each time Seattle has taken a bold step to address income inequality, our community has thrived, and the trickle-down agenda has been proven wrong. Amazon doesn't own Seattle, the people do!
Click here to share your thoughts, ask any questions you may have, or report an experience with someone gathering signatures to try & repeal the tax.
Right now, we have a choice before us & we have to decide as a community which side we're on: Is Seattle a playground of the rich, where corporations and the top 1% run the show? Or do the people of the city run our city, so that corporations are made to do their part to address our housing crisis?
You can help make sure this question gets answered in the best way possible. Let us know what you think and what you're seeing today.