Seattle Times: Seattle’s proposed jobs tax “will harm the city, its business climate and workers across the board. “

The Seattle Times editorial board has come out in strong opposition to the city council’s proposed jobs tax. We wrote about the proposal yesterday. The first public hearing is scheduled for Monday night’s council meeting.

The ST editorial condemns the proposal.

Seattle’s City Council will harm the city, its business climate and workers across the board if it starts taxing large companies for every person they hire.

Mayor Jenny Durkan should be prepared to veto this measure because it will reduce jobs, opportunity and Seattle’s ability to attract new employers.

…This is the latest effort by Seattle politicians to make a symbolic “eat the rich” gesture, even though they already tax business heavily.

Instead of nurturing the success of local companies that create vitality and prosperity, the council is in effect blaming them for its inability to adequately budget and respond to pressing needs.

Calling this progressive is hollow grandstanding. To actually shift the tax burden, the council would need to simultaneously cut regressive sales and property taxes, but it’s not.

The editorial makes the point that this same city council increased the tax on soda to reduce soda consumption and asks, “what do they expect if they tax jobs.”  Further, the editorial continues, Seattle is flush with money, more than half the city’s tax revenue comes from business, and “weak policies and management, not funding, are the larger problem” with the city’s response to homelessness.

As well, the editorial criticizes Mayor Durkan’s initial suggestions on the jobs tax. 

Durkan tried to split the baby. She urged the council to exempt small businesses and other favored constituencies. But that fails to address the tax’s overall negative effect on Seattle’s tarnished business climate and companies of all sizes.

“Even if small business gets a carve-out, it still trickles down on us,” said Taylor Hoang, who closed two of her Pho Cyclo restaurants in Seattle after struggles with rising business costs, traffic and parking.

City leaders are being pressed to impose this tax by special-interests wanting more. They won’t hear from the far larger constituency that will get less — carpenters and ironworkers, security guards and cleaners, waiters and bartenders, programmers and salespeople. Those people simply won’t get jobs and a chance to build lives in Seattle because their jobs went somewhere else.

Perhaps that larger constituency will show up Monday at 5:30 p.m.