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What about a tax to bring down the cost of housing

By tovarichpeter following x   2018 May 2, 7:08pm 398 views   15 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    


https://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/amazon-pauses-plans-for-seattle-office-towers-while-city-council-considers-business-tax/


Seattle is considering a head tax on big tech firms that have made housing unaffordable there. It could raise millions for affordable housing but even more importantly it could apply the brakes on the high paying tech jobs that cause higher rents and home prices (and traffic). Those new jobs won’t die but will simply go to other cities that have plenty of housing but need more good paying jobs.
1   Tenpoundbass   ignore (10)   2018 May 2, 7:11pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

I say a National property tax on all rental units.
2   WarrenTheApe   ignore (0)   2018 May 2, 7:21pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Tenpoundbass says
I say a National property tax on all rental units.

Not possible w/o amending the Constitution*. Exactly like we had to for the income tax (16th amendment):
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.


* Well, possible but not practical both in collecting it or politically. Congress can impose such a tax, but must do so according to the Apportionment Clause. This is because a property tax is a Direct Tax. So is the Income Tax, but as you read in the above, the 16th amendment carves out an exemption for the Apportionment Clause to apply for that particular direct tax.

What this means is that the property owners living in Wyoming would end up paying a lot, lot less in property taxes on rental properties than Californians would. Hence the 'not practical...politically'. As for 'collecting', that's an entirely long story I won't go into here but you can Google around about yourself.

Congress can impose taxes on income from rents w/o apportionment. Does so now. So they can impose higher ones, too. Congress could also impose a sales tax (indirect tax) on the transfer of title of property, too.

BTW, this little constitutional problem also applies to whenever you read a post by someone pushing for a national Land Value Tax (LVT) as well. Every time I see one of those, I post a reply similar to the one I am posting to you right now, only swapping out 'property tax' with 'LVT'. It is like hitting some poor ground hog's head with a weedwhacker...they have zero clue what I am talking about and don't like hearing more about it when they do start to get educated. Pisses all over their Georgism Narrative, see. And don't even get me started on non-Americans trying to understand.

Of course, there's nothing constitutionally stopping the states from imposing such tax on property in their jurisdiction. Most of them already have property taxes because of this very reason. Ditto with LVTs.
3   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch   ignore (30)   2018 May 2, 7:29pm   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

But aren't housing valuations supposed to rise exponentially by the hour until a 3/2 in Vallejo absorbs all the wealth and energy in the universe?
4   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 May 2, 7:34pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

tovarichpeter says
Seattle is considering a head tax on big tech firms that have made housing unaffordable there. It could raise millions for affordable housing but even more importantly it could apply the brakes on the high paying tech jobs that cause higher rents and home prices (and traffic). Those new jobs won’t die but will simply go to other cities that have plenty of housing but need more good paying jobs.


It's just another silly payroll tax. Don't cities want to attract more businesses so they can get more in taxes?
Just allow more home construction, morons.
5   WarrenTheApe   ignore (0)   2018 May 2, 7:35pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Strategist says
It's just another silly payroll tax. Don't cities want to attract more businesses so they can get more in taxes?
Just allow more home construction, morons.


Path of least resistance. NIMBYs will fight the latter option tooth and nail but not care what effect is has on anyone ELSE's future, so could care less about taxing businesses/jobs.
6   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 May 2, 7:38pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Tenpoundbass says
I say a National property tax on all rental units.


Landlords would just pass it on to the renters making housing even more expensive.
If they are not allowed to pass it on to renters with rent control, landlords won't buy rental properties creating a further shortage and more hardship for many.
Take your pick.
7   Strategist   ignore (1)   2018 May 2, 7:42pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch says
But aren't housing valuations supposed to rise exponentially by the hour


They are supposed to, but all the whining just gives everyone a headache. It's terrible.
8   Hassan_Rouhani   ignore (2)   2018 May 2, 10:27pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

#fucktaxes
#tea
9   Feux Follets   ignore (1)   2018 May 3, 2:05am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Amazon halts Seattle construction project ahead of tax vote

Amazon has halted construction planning on a new high-rise building near its headquarters while it awaits the outcome of a Seattle city proposal to tax worker hours.

The Seattle City Council is considering a “head tax” on high-grossing businesses to raise about $75 million a year for affordable housing and homelessness services.

Supporters say businesses that have benefited most from Seattle’s economic boom should help solve urgent problems that have come with it, such as soaring rents and a spike in people living on the streets.

Amazon, which employs more than 45,000 workers in Seattle, is estimated to pay more than $20 million under the proposal. The employee-hours tax would apply to companies with gross annual income of more than $20 million, which would apply to about 585 businesses.

Amazon vice president Drew Herdener said in a statement Wednesday that the Seattle-based online retailer has put on hold construction planning for a 17-story tower, pending a council vote on the tax. In addition, he said the company is evaluating options to sublease all space it recently leased in another downtown skyscraper under construction.

The two office spaces would accommodate about 7,000 new Amazon jobs in more than 1.1 million square feet (0.1 million sq. meters) of office space. The Seattle Times first reported the news. Amazon also recently announced plans to add thousands of workers in Boston and Vancouver, British Columbia.

In Seattle, the proposed head tax is roughly 26 cents per employee hour, or roughly $540 a year per worker. By 2021, the tax would switch to a .07 percent tax on the business payroll.

At a council committee meeting Wednesday, Councilmember Kshama Sawant said it’s critical that “we not accept this extortion.”

She called the tax “pocket change for these businesses” and said “Amazon is perfectly capable of paying that.”

Last month, Amazon reported that its first-quarter profit more than doubled from a year ago, fueled by the growth of online shopping and the cloud-computing service it provides to businesses and government agencies. Overall revenue jumped 43 percent to $51 billion.

The company earned $1.63 billion in the three months ending March 31. It’s the second time Amazon’s quarterly profit has topped $1 billion. In the previous quarter, which included the busy holiday shopping season, it had a profit of more than $1.8 billion.

Many social service workers and others supported the tax Wednesday, saying the city needs to add affordable housing and address the wealth disparity.

Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez, a co-sponsor of the tax measure, tweeted her support Wednesday morning saying, “To address the massive humanitarian crisis our city is experiencing, we MUST create sustainable revenue sources to fund effective solutions that will get our Seattle residents off the streets.”

Businesses have been pushing back on the idea since it first surfaced last year. The City Council narrowly rejected a smaller tax proposal last fall.

“Today’s announcement shows that Seattle cannot take its economic prosperity for granted,” Marilyn Strickland, president of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement Wednesday.

“The City of Seattle has abundant tax resources today because many locally based businesses have chosen to grow here. That’s why we urge the City Council to prioritize those resources – including over $700 million in taxes paid by business each year – before pursuing new revenue, and work with regional partners to develop a coordinated plan that will significantly reduce homelessness.”

Other businesses said that they operate on tight margins of 1 percent or so and won’t be able to raise prices on consumers.

“I’m deeply concerned about the impact this decision will have on a large range of jobs,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a statement Wednesday.

https://www.wtvq.com/2018/05/02/amazon-halts-seattle-construction-project-ahead-of-tax-vote/

Amazon halts plan for office tower in Seattle over proposed tax. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-amazon-com-seattle/amazon-halts-plan-for-office-tower-in-seattle-over-proposed-tax-idUSKBN1I40HV
11   SFace   ignore (0)   2018 May 3, 11:01pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Amazon could easily move to Bellevue.

It's not about Amazon's ability to pay, its their responsibilities to shareholders. If you haven't noticed, every city wants hq2. They can just as easily move hq1
12   mell   ignore (1)   2018 May 3, 11:10pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

WarrenTheApe says
Not possible w/o amending the Constitution*. Exactly like we had to for the income tax (16th amendment):
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.


* Well, possible but not practical both in collecting it or politically. Congress can impose such a tax, but must do so according to the Apportionment Clause. This is because a property tax is a Direct Tax. So is the Income Tax, but as you read in the above, the 16th amendment carves out an exemption for the Apportionment Clause to apply for that particular direct tax.


It's totally possible since we abandoned the rule of law. According to the constitution the bailouts, the fucking over of GM and other bondholders, Obummercare and more should never have been possible. But US administrations have stopped caring about the constitution long ago and installing their puppets if challenged in SC. Totally possible these days though theoretically you're right ;)
13   anotheraccount   ignore (1)   2018 May 4, 12:03am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

SFace says
They can just as easily move hq1


No they can't. What do you think would happen to the prices of houses that their employees own if they moved?
14   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch   ignore (30)   2018 May 4, 12:56am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Amazon needs to muster its employee s to take up arms against the tyrannous govt of Seattle!
15   Feux Follets   ignore (1)   2018 May 14, 6:58pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Seattle passes scaled-back tax on Amazon, big companies

Amazon, the city’s largest employer, said after the vote that it would go ahead with planning for a major downtown office building that it earlier had put on hold over its objections to a much stiffer tax plan originally proposed.

The tax measure, passed on a 9-0 vote after a boisterous public hearing, would apply to most companies grossing at least $20 million a year, levying a tax of roughly 14 cents per employee per hour worked within the city.

That formula is designed to raise $45 million to $49 million a year over the five-year life of the tax - down from an original $75 million annually - to support affordable housing and more services for the homeless.

Amazon had led private-sector opposition to the plan, saying earlier this month it was freezing expansion planning for Seattle pending the outcome of Monday’s action. The move by the world’s largest online retailer, owned by billionaire entrepreneur Jeff Bezos, put in question more than 7,000 new jobs.

Following the council vote, Amazon’s vice president, Drew Herdener, said the company has resumed construction planning for its so-called Block 18 project in downtown Seattle, following the pause it announced two weeks ago.

However, he added, “We remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council’s hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses, which forces us to question our growth here.”

Amazon said it is still evaluating whether to sub-lease space in a second future office tower in Seattle, a project called Rainier Square, meaning it may move some planned jobs elsewhere and thus avoid further raising its tax liability.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-seattle-tax/seattle-passes-scaled-back-tax-on-amazon-big-companies-idUSKCN1IG002?il=0




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