On Tuesday this week, the Council voted down an employee-hours tax (aka a “head tax”). In doing so, several Council members who voted “no” voiced their support in theory for a head tax and committed to working on a process with a broad group of stakeholders to evaluate a head tax — and other progressive revenue-raising options — and come back with a specific proposal. On Wednesday, Council member Gonzalez began circulating a draft resolution to that extent, which she hopes to have the Council approve on Monday.
Monday afternoon Budget chair Lisa Herbold released her “revised balancing package” proposal for the 2018 city budget. Tuesday morning she begins to lead her fellow Council members in deliberations and votes on the items in the package.
The big contentious issue, the employee-hours tax (or “HOMES tax,” or “head tax”), is still in the package, and in fact will be the first item up for discussion and vote. It won’t be pretty.
At the request of Council member Lisa Herbold, the Office of the City Auditor has generated a comprehensive plan for information-gathering and evaluation of the city’s Navigation Team.
Yesterday the City Council spent most of the day looking at 59 proposals to further refine the proposed budget for 2018. And a few of them got heated.
The ongoing debate over how to handle unsanctioned homeless encampments has become deeply entangled in this year’s budget process, with both sides engaging in a war of words and with competing budget proposals attempting to enforce or modify the encampment removal procedures.
This afternoon the Seattle Office of Civil Rights (SOCR) issued a report on its monitoring of the city’s removals of unsanctioned homeless encampments between May and September of this year. Their conclusion: the city is complying with the MDAR rules, but problems still persist.
Last night’s budget hearing and a protest related to homeless encampment sweeps tops this morning’s news.
As part of officially introducing the employee hours tax (aka the “head tax”) into the budget process last week, Council members O’Brien, Harris-Talley and Sawant submitted draft legislation for it. Now that it’s something concrete and not just a set of talking points, let’s look at what it says, and what it means.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo Martinez ruled against the ACLU on two motions it had filed in its case against the city and WSDOT over the ongoing “sweeps” of unsanctioned homeless encampments.
Three meetings today, lots of ground covered.