Dying For Attention: A Seattle Business Tax To Fight Homelessness

homeless in the rain - Seattle photo by Romi Chiorean Follow is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
homeless in the rain - Seattle

During recent Progressive Revenue Task Force public testimony, a homeless participant stopped breathing. Following many tense moments and an ambulance to hospital, his replacement explained that the recovering victim suffered from the degenerative disease ALS and lived in a tent.

Real life seldom intrudes like this on a forum for policy development. The Seattle Chamber of Commerce took special care to avoid facing such harsh realities by boycotting the entire Task Force process. The Chamber of Commerce weighed in by demanding belt-tightening and austerity from a sanitary distance, where they didn’t have to actually meet the eye of the distressed and homeless.

With thousands on waiting lists, Kings County, Washington is placing little more than ten adults a month into housing. The affordable houses aren’t there and austerity won’t build them.

Read more about why the Progressive Review Task Force recommended the creation of an affordable housing construction revenue stream fuelled by taxes, including a ‘big business’ tax which would raise $150,000 annually for new affordable housing in the Seattle Area. In Crosscut: A business tax can ease Seattle’s homeless crisis