Oh, wait...that last one I actually am going to talk about.
So...Prop. 1. It seeks to raise sales tax by %.01. Supposedly, this is approximately $30/year for the average household. The goal of Prop 1 is to "provide increased funding for the arts, science and heritage education and access for students and families throughout King County." Basically, as I understand it from Bill Nye and the multiple adds I see when I visit the symphony or the theatre, it provides funding to enable public school kids to attend shows or concerts or science activities, etc, for free.
Here's the website: https://www.accessforallwa.org/
Perhaps you are surprised that I do not support this. I am a patron of the arts. I am a season ticket holder with the Seattle Theatre Group and the Paramount Theatre. I purchase an annual package from the Seattle Symphony, usually 5 or 6 concerts. I also donate to both organizations. I teared up when I saw my oldest perform in Annie this past year. He had 3 lines and they were the BEST LINES IN THE WHOLE SHOW!!!
And, while I don't make the same investment in science or heritage initiatives, I see the value in both. We frequently visit the Seattle Science Center and Children's Museum. I want my boys to be exposed to all of these things! I want all children to be exposed to all of these things.
So...why am I voting no?
Believe it or not, my complaints have nothing to do with the fact that my kids aren't in public school. So, this will not benefit them at all. But, that point certainly isn't lost on me.
I am voting no because I think there are more important places to spend our money.
The sales tax in King County is already at 10%. And, the city council just got done telling us how regressive this tax is when they decided to pass a city wide income tax. 10% of the cost of anything I buy. And, where does it go?
I mean...there are homeless people living on corners and under bridges all over the city.
The police department is understaffed and needs to spend more and more money on training so they stop shooting minorities.
The schools are meh.
I could go on.
We are already over taxed and taxed in stupid ways...mostly sales and property. We've been hearing all year about why our tax system is regressive. Except, in this case, that's apparently ok?
I acknowledge that many people can't afford to expose their children to the arts and sciences outside of what their schools give to them. But, this is where private donations should step up.
When STG (Seattle Theatre Group) called me to donate, they told me all about their program for helping underprivileged families attend the theatre. I thought this was awesome, so I wrote a check.
The 5th Avenue, every year, has a program where high school students produce, direct and star in one of their season shows. I thought this was a rad idea, so I wrote a check.
There are many people just as excited about things like this and many of them have much bigger wallets. Call them. Why take more money away from someone who is already spending a ton of money on school supplies and clothes for the upcoming school year?
Arts are important. They are VERY important. But, so is solving our homeless problem. So is solving the opioid problem. So is solving the affordable housing problem. So is transportation.
I'm done giving the city and county more money. They don't know what to do with the money they currently have. I have zero desire to give them money for something non-urgent when they can't seem to figure out the immediate problems we're facing.