To me “Seattle” doesn’t just mean a city I live in. It means the center of the known world. “All roads lead to Seattle,” they should say. It’s as true as it needs to be.
I’m miffed that Olympia is beating us out in the city state business. Olympia may set up its own income tax.
If an initiative there passes they could have a 1.5 percent income tax on all income over $200,000.
This reminds me that the tyrant Donald has threatened to deny federal funding to sanctuary cities.
Now is probably a good time to explain what sanctuary cities are and why they exist.
There are federal laws saying who can’t be in the United States. The U.S. is a vast empire, and Seattle and Olympia currently lie within its territory. These federal laws were written by federals from Federal Land and contain language saying that federals can enforce them. But the laws don’t say how or whether states or cities should enforce them. They also don’t provide money or other means for states or cities to enforce them.
Enforcing immigration laws is expensive. It fills up jails that have to be paid for by locals.
It also disrupts immigrant communities that are actually contributing to our city in multiple ways, including paying all the same local taxes the rest of us do, in particular sales taxes and (mainly through rent) property taxes.
The federal government, on the other hand, has money it gets from income taxes, including ours.
We citizens of Seattle, Olympia and all the cities pay our annual taxes to the Empire and with that the Empire can send their swarms of ice agents to arrest immigrants.
There are sanctuary cities because enforcing federal immigration laws isn’t our job.
Our job is taking care of a city, which is the job of civilization, and it’s no accident that sounds like civility.
There are sanctuary cities because there are cities. Cities are places where lots of people come together to live and have to learn how to do that, and one of the things we learned early on is it doesn’t improve matters one bit to round up immigrants periodically, put them on a boat and set it floating aimlessly out into the Puget Sound.
We’re still trying to get over that one time in 1886. That was a really stupid thing we did back then and we don’t want to ever do that again.
I digress. What’s the problem, then? Well, there wouldn’t be too much of a problem if the federals were happy enforcing their own stupid laws and leaving us out of it. We’d carry on complaining as usual.
The problem is what happens if tyrant Donald carries out his threat to withhold federal funds on the grounds that we are sanctuary cities.
The first thing that would happen then will be a huge legal battle. It’s probably unconstitutional.
If the legal challenge were to fail, the situation we would be in would be untenable.
The city simply can’t be ruled that way by the federal government.
And that’s a problem because, why? Let’s see who has been paying attention up until now.
It’s a problem because they take our money. What would be withheld from us would be our own money paid for by our own taxes.
If the federal government withholds grants from us, we have to take up the slack by raising additional money to make up for the loss.
Now you should see why it’s so important that Olympia gets its own income tax.
If and when tyrant Donald initiates the next civil war, we are going to have to start raising our own funds locally. That means replacing federal income taxes with city income taxes when necessary.
Extra thought for extra thinkers:
We are not only part of an Empire, we are part of a state. The Washington Constitution doesn’t allow an income tax. Republicans are talking about a law that would make it clear that cities can’t have one, either.
They don’t want us to be able to stand on our own.