Morning Fizz

Boasting, Endorsing, Streamlining, and Taxing

Walkinshaw claims polling shows him ahead, Macri to get key endorsement, Seattle weighs streamlining light rail process, and the tax factor.

By Josh Feit June 6, 2016

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 1. Last month, King County council member Joe McDermott, who’s running for retiring liberal icon U.S. representative Jim McDermott’s (D-WA, 7) open seat, sent polling results to his supporters showing that Joe (no relation) was besting both his opponents—state senator Pramila Jayapal (D-37, Southeast Seattle) and state representative Brady Walkinshaw (D-43, Capitol Hill). (The polling also had data points that indicated Joe McDermott’s lead didn’t have to do with his fortuitous last name.) Joe McDermott’s poll had Joe McDermott at 35 percent, Jayapal at 9 percent, and Walkinshaw at 7 percent.

Last week, Walkinshaw sent polling numbers to his supporters that told a different story; although, footnote: while Joe McDermott’s camp shared detailed crosstabs with me, Walkinshaw just shared one statistic. After voters learn a little bit about each candidate (i.e. “when the initial confusion around U.S. Rep. McDermott evaporates”) Walkinshaw’s poll reports, “I take the lead.” According to Walkinshaw’s camp, the numbers are: Walkinshaw at 21 percent, Joe McDermott at 20 percent, and Jayapal at 16 percent.

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2. Speaking of Walkinshaw, the race to fill his open seat (he’s giving up his state house seat to run for Jim McDermott’s federal seat) is going to get a slight, though not unexpected, jolt this week.

Watch for transgender leader Danni Askini (a former candidate in the crowded race, who dropped out to focus on campaigning against I-1515, a North Carolina-style bathroom measure) to endorse homeless and housing advocate Nicole Macri.

Along with Macri, the list of candidates includes labor leader Marcus Courtney, environmentalist Sameer Ranade, and trial lawyer Daniel Shih.

Shih is far out ahead in fundraising.

3. When Sound Transit announced its updated ST3 plan late last month (with fanfare about the slightly shorter timeline, a grade separated route from Ballard to Downtown, and the inclusion of the 130th Street station in North Seattle), ST CEO Peter Rogoff said the timeline could speed up even more if local governments followed the lead of places like Redmond that had amended city planning code to make light rail a permitted use.

Mayor Ed Murray told me Seattle would have to weight the pros and cons of such a move, indicating that pre-approving light rail that way would jeopardize the city’s ability to mitigate construction.

Asked for specific things the city would give up, Seattle Department of Transportation planner Jon Layzer told Fizz:

“Streamlining how future light rail gets permitted is one strategy we want to evaluate with Sound Transit in the coming months. In doing so, we’ll need to look carefully at the trade-offs of all potential options and explore what the impacts might be for the City. For example, we need to understand how such modifications would reduce the City’s ultimate say on important decisions such as the line’s alignment, station locations or station design review.”


4. The Seattle Times reports on a study today that shows rich people aren’t likely to flee Washington state if Olympia instituted an income tax. A key factor in the study: Rich people in states with income taxes aren’t fleeing to Washington.

The Seattle Times' “FYI Guy” talked to the one of the researchers and reports:

Young points out that even the other low-tax states — including Washington — see millionaires leave for Florida.

The data reveal that Washington hasn’t benefited from an influx of millionaires from high-tax states. About the same number of millionaires move in as move out each year, according to Young.

On average, about 10,500 Washington households declared income of at least $1 million on federal tax returns between 1999 and 2011.

And when wealthy people leave Washington, they settle in a mix of places from across the tax spectrum. In fact, our largest migration “deficit” is with Arizona, which taxes millionaires at an effective rate of 4.6 percent. Washington’s 1 percenters, apparently, like sunshine more than they hate income tax.

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