Seattle’s Mayor and Council Kill Jobs
Posted by Warren Peterson on September 13, 2011
Mayor McGinn made job growth a key focus of his administration. But the policies of the mayor and the city council may well have the opposite effect.
Keeping the customers away:
Seattle has raised parking rates significantly and extended the time meters are in use. These vary by area of the city but if you go to a downtown restaurant, be prepared to pay $4.00 an hour. And no more free parking after 6 PM, you pay until 8PM.
When a fine is a tax:
The city is looking at increasing the overtime parking fine by $5.00, not to discourage overtime parking but to raise more money.
When a policy is a tax:
It is tough enough to be a small business like a restaurant. Margins are thin and completion is strong. The city council just made it harder by imposing a new cost on small business, a requirement to provide paid sick leave for employees.
When a tax increase is a tax increase:
Add to the county’s $20 increase in car tab fee a Seattle ballot proposal for an additional $60 fee on top of a recent Seattle $20 hit and you are talking real money.
There are always green jobs:
Many of the so-called green jobs are actually from deficit-funded stimulus grants such as the famous Seattle weatherization boondoggle. This one was for $20,000,000 but got tangled in poor planning and something called “social equity” but didn’t winterize many homes. Fourteen jobs were created but most to administer the program.
Taken together, all of these items serve to extract money from customers and small businesses, money that may have gone to hiring more workers and/or keeping prices down. They are certainly factors in deciding where to live, go for shopping and entertainment or locate a business. It’s hard to see how they have a positive effect on job creation, at least in the private sector.