For its September "Big Idea" issue, Seattle Magazine asked a bunch of know-it-alls, including travel guru Rick Steves, weather guy Cliff Mass, journalist Knute Berger, restaurateur Tom Douglas, artist Greg Lundgren, and me, for one grand idea to save Seattle.

Here's what I told them:
Tax the 'Seattle Process'
by Josh Feit

Seattle needs a new tax. Not a tax on its citizens, but a tax on its leaders. I call it the Seattle Process Tax, or SPT. The tax would apply to the mayor, all nine members of the City Council, all seven Seattle School Board members, the five Seattle port commissioners and the nine members of the King County Council. The tax would be imposed on their campaign funds: 3 percent on every piece of legislation, including legislation that authorizes capital projects, that stays in the pipeline for more than 12 months. The tax increases by a 10th of a percentage point every three months thereafter. The tax would be collected by the city of Chicago—a city that doesn’t have an existential crisis about process, and actually builds projects and passes laws—and would help maintain Chicago's El system.

>> Feit is the founder and editor of PubliCola, Seattle’s online news and politics website (

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