All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Seattle City Clowncil -- Fool Speed Ahead!

There has been no shortage of big news in Seattle this past week. Between (1) Amazon's bombshell announcement they were setting up a new headquarters, and (2) Mayor Ed Murray resigning in scandal, city government has been rocked to its core.

At least, it should be rocked to its core. Instead, you saw council members signal that they just don't get it.

Some lambasted Amazon for daring to expand elsewhere, and called for new taxes on successful Seattle businesses. It all sends a signal to other businesses: Look elsewhere.

This is a council determined to stay the stupid course and impose ever-more taxes, fees, and rules on the businesses that have helped make Seattle vibrant and wealthy. Seattle city government is more likely to view thriving businesses as leeches than contributing employers.

The city budget has grown rapidly yet city government is a mess, and the obvious anti-business stance of the city council is clearly creating economic downsides.

Time for a course correction? No, they say, full speed ahead.

-Rob McKenna

Friday, August 11, 2017

Resistance to Seattle council income tax

Freedom Foundation attorneys joined with the Seattle law firm of Lane, Powell, PC – the region’s most respected tax law specialists – to file a lawsuit on behalf of 19 Seattle residents that would kill the new income tax before it takes effect and spreads to other parts of the state and other income classes.  

The tax measure, which requires residents to pay a 2.25 percent tax if they are a single filer and make more than $250,000 annually or file jointly and make more than $500,000, is a clear violation of the state constitution’s equal protection language because it holds Washingtonians to different standards based on their income level.

It also violates state law, the Seattle city charter, 100 years of legal precedent and the will of the voters as expressed at least 10 times over the years.

“This is clearly bad policy and illegal, but it’s also an assault on the rule of law,” David Dewhirst, Freedom Foundation litigation counsel, told Fox News. “If they can get away with it this time, where does it stop?”


Among those covering the story:
National TV
Local TV
  • KOMO 4 (ABC): Freedom Foundation’s Lawsuit Against Seattle’s Income Tax
  • KIRO 7 (CBS): Freedom Foundation, Opportunity For All File Lawsuits 
  • KIRO 7 (CBS): Freedom Foundation, Opportunity For All File Lawsuits 
  • KING 5 (NBC): Freedom Foundation’s Lawsuit Against Seattle’s Income Tax
National Articles
Local Articles 
Local Radio

Story and links provided by the Freedom Foundation

Monday, July 10, 2017

Inslee gets petty

If you ask a Democratic insider in Olympia (off the record, of course) how influential Gov. Jay Inslee is in his party's legislative caucuses, you're bound to learn a lot. Legislators just concluded a bruising budget negotiation, but "the fingerprints of Inslee's December budget proposal are scarcely to be found" in the final product,  I point out on the SmarterGovernmentWashington website.

His fingerprints are smeared all over a very public veto he made yesterday of a bipartisan agreement to extend the B&O tax rates that Boeing receives to other manufacturers. These lower rates were "paid for" by ending other tax incentives, and are key to the final budget deal. Inslee vetoed the provision anyway, then gave a needlessly inartful, lecturing answer about it at a press conference.
What if legislators are upset about his veto, he was asked. "I can't control their tender feelings," he retorted. There were plenty of other such lines, but his fit of pique mostly revealed the weak hand he plays from in the state capitol (he is, he has insisted, "a player on the field").

Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) tweeted out, "There will 100% NOT be a Capital budget unless House helps overide Veto. Deal is a deal. 88 yes votes."

Rep. Drew Stokesbary (R-Auburn) wrote, "Reneging on difficult deal in which all sides gave up something is going to have profound consequences on future #waleg budgets negotiations." Turns out the other players on the field have moves to make, too.

-Rob McKenna

Friday, June 23, 2017

Special session update, revenue forecast released

The Legislature has concluded its second special session. There is still no agreement on an operating budget or an education funding plan. However, negotiators are very close.

I understand there is some concerns about a government shutdown and possible state employees being furloughed. However, while it is a situation we must prepare for, it is unlikely.
Contingency plans are being made if we do get to June 30 and a budget is not in place. We may be in a situation where the budget and education funding plans get passed by the end of the month, but we need to take a couple extra days in July to finish other business such as the capital budget and Hirst.
The governor indicated yesterday he would veto any temporary budget that would keep the government running for a few extra days until lawmakers reach a deal. Nobody wants to see a government shutdown and we want to do whatever is possible to make sure that doesn’t happen.
The education funding negotiation team continues to meet. Progress is being made, but given the extensive amount of detail involved, it is a difficult process. I remain positive that we will reach a solution for the education funding plan and the operating budget by the end of the month.
As for taxes with the operating budget, – I am hearing there are some still on the table – the internet sales tax and possibly adjusting the real estate excise tax. As I stated in my last update, I wouldn’t expect a capital gains state income tax or an increase to the B&O tax, as much as the governor would like to see one. I am still uncertain as to whether or not they have 50 votes for tax increases in the House, and 25 votes for tax increases in the Senate. We do not need to increase any taxes given the amount of revenue coming into the state.
Revenue Forecast
The Economic Revenue Forecast Council released their latest revenue forecast on Tuesday. The revenue  forecast has been increased by $81 million for the 2015-17 budget cycle and by $87 million for the 2017-19 budget cycle. The increases are smaller than the increases in the March forecast, but they are still positive.
While this provides some additional dollars that may be beneficial to budget negotiations, more dollars for the budget is not necessary. A reminder, we are expecting more than a 13 percent increase in revenue – taxpayer dollars – this biennium. Revenue is not the issue. I am concerned about what the level of proposed spending may be in the final budget plan. However, we will talk about that when the plan comes out.
I urge everyone to stay optimistic. From what I am seeing, a responsible, sustainable solution is within reach.
Cary Condotta

Monday, June 12, 2017

Seattle taxes soda pop.

The Seattle City Council adopted a soda tax this week.  The rate is 1.75 cents per ounce, which means the tax would be about $1.18 for a 2-liter bottle of soda.  That rate will more than double the  price of some flavors.

The Left in Washington has grown bold, weaponizing taxes in the war against its opponents. They single out those they don’t like or the activities they find immoral, and use tax policy to compel submission to their fuzzy-headed, stupid-utopian dreams. Targeted authoritarianism is un-American and the precedent is dangerous.

The Left is committing public nudity; they no longer dress up their taxes and regulations as "support of the working class."  The Teamsters union recognized that taxes damage jobs and called this part of the war on workers. The council compromised by offering to use $1.5 million of the money the job-killing tax collected to give to workers for job retraining.



What other people read on this blog

Effing the ineffable - Washington State elections sometimes have been rigged.

“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
-- Joseph Stalin