Catching up on a few things at City Hall not directly related to the Capitol Hill protest zone, here are a few recent updates from the Seattle City Council:
- Loitering laws: The council Monday voted to repeal two loitering laws advocates say have been used by police to target Black and Indigenous people and other people of color and vulnerable populations like sex workers. “I’ve committed to preventing disproportionate impacts on communities of color by police interactions and this is just one fix to our city laws,” said council member Alex Pedersen, one of three on the council bringing the bills forward for Monday’s unanimous votes.
Seattle Police leeway to arrest people Seattle Reentry Workgroup formed “
- Amazon tax alternative: The Seattle City Council is putting its weight behind Teresa Mosqueda’s plan for a tax on big businesses to raise $200 million a year to help Seattle overcome its forecasted budget shortfalls due to COVID-19 and to fund affordable housing, equitable development, and economic support for small businesses. The proposal pushes aside the Sawant-Morales plan for a larger $500 million a year tax. Seattle City Council Insight reports the body is backing the Mosqueda plan and pushing changes including a change making a sunset clause in the proposal conditional on “the county or state passing a progressive revenue package of its own” and boosting how much revenue the tax will generate. The bills to enable the plan will be taken up for the first time Wednesday morning in the council’s budget committee.
- A Seattle capital gains tax: Council member Andrew Lewis is preparing a legislative proposal that could create a “1% capital gains tax on stocks and bonds when sold for profit.” City Hall estimates the tax would raise roughly $37 million a year to “create resources to build affordable and permanent supportive housing, and fund additional homeless services.” “We know the solution to meet the scale of our homelessness and affordable housing crisis – it’s providing more housing. Specifically, we need to invest in permanent supportive housing with wraparound services, so our homeless neighbors can stabilize, create community, and ultimately heal,” Lewis said in his announcement of the proposal. Lewis says most Seattleites wouldn’t have to pay the tax:
The capital gains tax will not apply to retirement accounts, home or commercial real estate sales, or investments that lose money. It is estimated 70 percent of Seattlites (sic) wouldn’t pay the tax. According to Brookings, Sixty-nine percent of all capital gains go to the top 1 percent of richest Americans .
But he’ll be one of them who does. “I will pay this tax,” Lewis says “And I will be happy to do it. If I’m fortunate enough to make $500 on the stock market this year, the least I can do is give $5 to the City to house and support people. I wish it could be more.”
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