COUNCIL MEMBER TERESA MOSQUEDA published an op-ed in The Stranger this morning reminding us about our regressive tax code and calling on the public to join advocates at Judkins Park for Tax Rally 2018: "Together we will fight for a more just state and local tax code and budgets that don't come up short."
At the risk of beating a dead horse, the lack of an income or capital gains tax gives Washington state the dubious honor of having the most regressive tax system in the country. The poorest 20 percent pay 16.8 percent of their income, while the richest 1 percent just pay 2.4 percent, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy that used 2015 data.
Local governments' inability to enact progressive taxes comes from state law—which the Seattle City Council defied last year. The city is facing a challenge likely in the state Supreme Court. Now they're looking for another progressive tax, likely a head tax, to raise ongoing revenue for homeless services.
Mosqueda will speak at another rally at 12:30pm at Safeco Plaza for SEIU6 security officers who want pay raises, cheaper health care, and more protections as they negotiate their contracts. Meanwhile, Mayor Jenny Durkan at 11:45am will sign legislation that removes the authority for employers to pay people with disabilities less than minimum wage.
PICK YOUR CAUSE: Saturday's going to be a busy day for Seattle activists.
Tax March 2.0 begins in Judkins Park at 2pm; Mosqueda, state senator Rebecca Saldana, and former city council member Kirsten Harris-Talley will be there.
Police reform group Not This Time is holding a mental health and deadly force rally at Westlake Park at 3pm on Saturday, which includes state senator Manka Dhingra.
March for Science begins at 10am at Cal Anderson Park, featuring speakers like House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. representative Pramila Jayapal.
HOMELESSNESS: The number of students experiencing homelessness in Washington state's public schools is at an all-time high. Homeless students in Seattle Public Schools make up 10 percent of the state's total homeless student population. In South Seattle, the numbers are especially stark. OSPI reported the largest increase was in unsheltered students.
MORE BAD NEWS for Seattle journalists—Crosscut's David Kroman on Wednesday reported that the Seattle PI's depleted newsroom saw three more leaves (two laid off, one retired). And Stranger's Sydney Brownstone reported another also planned to resign, leaving the PI—once a thriving daily paper that competed with The Seattle Times—with six full-time staffers.