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1,049 Seattle employees making over $150K exempt from jobs tax

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Signs await supporters and opponents of the Seattle head tax. (Hanna Scott, KIRO Radio)

This new House bill for a King County jobs tax shows the sleaze of the people in charge here.

The tax would affect businesses with employees making $150,000 or more per year. King County businesses with 50 employees or more would be subject to the tax. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and King County Executive Dow Constantine knew from the 2018 Seattle head tax debacle that they couldn’t pass a jobs tax that way, so they went straight to the Legislature to accomplish it.

By the way, if you wonder why I’m calling it a jobs tax, it’s because a head tax is a euphemism. This is a jobs tax. And when you tax things — whether cigarettes, alcohol, or jobs — there will be less of those things.

It will start out as just applying to King County businesses with 50 employees, but you know that over time this tax will expand to more counties and smaller businesses. Any time we give government a new tax toy, they abuse the heck out of it. Every tax skyrockets. The sales tax was 4 percent when I was a kid; now it’s up to 10.

King County Councilmember Dunn: County jobs tax will hurt the poor

But then I found out something about this jobs tax I didn’t know. Local governments would be exempt from it. How sleazy is that?

Government says it’s because they would have to take away vital dollars from other funds to pay the tax. Hey government, what do you think private companies have to do when you keep taxing them to death? They can’t just manufacture the money out of thin air. They actually have to pull money from other line items in their budget. It might make the difference between making a profit that year and just breaking even (or going in the red). It may stop them from being able to grow that year.

How many government employees do you think make over $150,000 per year? Sound Transit has 80 employees making over that amount. The Port of Seattle has 196. The King County government has 522. This is clearly not just department heads making that large of a sum.

But the winner in our Sweepstakes of Greed is the City of Seattle. The City of Seattle has 1,049 employees making over $150,000 per year. Do you think we’re getting our money’s worth from all of those workers? I’m sure we are from a few. But I doubt we are from all 1,049, seeing as Seattle is engulfed by homelessness and drug use and property crime and traffic congestion.

Luckily for Seattle, the city won’t have to pay for all of these workers.

We have spent over $10 billion on the homelessness-industrial complex in the last 14 years, and the problem has gotten dramatically worse. Think about that. There is no correlation between money and solving the homelessness problem. There is an absolute correlation between a lack of drug prosecution and the homelessness problem.

What this county-wide jobs tax shows is that the Seattle sleaze is spreading like the coronavirus all around the region.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Jobless rate tumbles as Mass. employers add jobs in August – News – The Taunton Daily Gazette, Taunton, MA

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BOSTON — Massachusetts employers reported adding 51,600 jobs in August, while the statewide unemployment rate dropped nearly 5 percentage points, bucking a two-month trend of the Bay State bearing the highest jobless rate in the country.

New preliminary jobs data released Friday by federal and state officials showed month-over-month improvement through the late summer amid the economic chaos wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s unemployment rate dropped from a revised rate of 16.2 percent in July to 11.3 percent in August, officials said. That 4.9 percentage point change was the largest decrease in the country.

Despite the improvement, Massachusetts still lagged behind the national unemployment rate of 8.4 percent last month. After reporting the highest unemployment rate nationwide in both June and July, Massachusetts tied with New Mexico in August for the sixth-highest rate among all states and the District of Columbia.

Almost all of the 51,600 positions added in August came in the private sector, according to data from the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. The largest gains occurred in education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and trade, transportation and utilities, while only one of the industry groups tracked, financial activities, reported losses in August.

Monthly unemployment and jobs data are based on two separate surveys. The unemployment rate comes from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics survey of households, which also produces an estimate of total employment, total unemployment and the size of the labor force. Jobs gained and industry-specific figures come from a survey of employers known as the Current Employment Statistics program.

The labor force household survey estimated total employment in Massachusetts to be 3.14 million in August, with 65,500 more people employed than in July. According to that series, the state has added back about 290,000 jobs of the more than 870,000 jobs lost in the first two months of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the employer survey estimated Massachusetts had 3.29 million nonfarm employees in August, 51,600 more than last month. Under that data series, the Bay State has gained back 272,000 of about 690,000 jobs lost.

Officials used figures from both programs in Friday’s release. The state labor office cited 51,600 jobs gained based on the employer survey and also said that total August employment was 3.14 million based on the household survey.

Through July, the economic damage from the pandemic had been felt more acutely in cities and in communities of color. Eight of the 10 communities with the highest unemployment rates in July have majority nonwhite populations.

August job gains, which are critical to the tens of thousands of workers affected and to the state’s overall recovery, come as Beacon Hill tries to figure out how to address key budget uncertainties. Lawmakers may need to make tough decisions on whether to impose tax hikes or scale back state services amid the economic jolt.

Tax collections have fared better than projected at the beginning of the crisis, but Sen. Michael Rodrigues — his chamber’s top budget official — said this week that he expects revenues to drop $5 billion below last year. The state will likely need to dip “deeply” into its $3.5 billion emergency savings fund without additional federal aid, Rodrigues said.

Senate President Karen Spilka, meanwhile, said Friday that she is optimistic another federal relief package will come from Congress.

Another key question the Legislature will need to answer is whether to step in and relieve businesses from an impending hike in the taxes they pay toward unemployment insurance.

Due to the unprecedented surge in joblessness, the Baker administration projects that the unemployment insurance trust fund will end 2020 nearly $2.5 billion in the red, triggering an increase of almost 60 percent in the per-employee contribution employers pay.

Sen. Patricia Jehlen, who co-chairs the Labor and Workforce Development Committee, said last month that she believes the Legislature will seek a rate freeze but needs federal assistance to make such a move possible.

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Mary Theresa D’Elia | News, Sports, Jobs

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MUNISING, MI / WOBURN, MA – Mary Theresa D’Elia, age 92, of Munising and longtime Woburn, Massachusetts resident was called Home on Thursday morning, September 17, 2020. She was born the only child of Joseph and Theresa (Doherty) Corcoran on July 25, 1928 in Woburn. Mary graduated from Woburn High School and worked at home before she married Ralph Vincent D’Elia in 1955. Together they raised their six children in Woburn. Mary was a devout Irish Catholic who was active in the church and activities of St. Anthony Parish in Woburn. She was a wonderful baker and her chocolate chip cookies were legendary in the neighborhood. Mary and Ralph love square dancing together and spent their weekends with friends dancing with the Woburn Apple Squares. They loved to dance and during their retirement enjoyed week long activities and even cruises where they “do-si-doed” over the seas. They were great partners in life and on the dance floor. Ralph preceded Mary in death in October of 2009. Nine years ago, she moved to the Upper Peninsula and enjoyed her family time in Munising. Mary was a faithful member of Sacred Heart Church. Her Catholic faith was integral to her life and even when her memory faded, she was able to say her prayers.

Mary is survived by five children – Michael (Lee) D’Elia of Munising, Claire Lambert of Chelmsford, MA, and Paul (Sharon) D’Elia, John (Wendy) D’Elia and Ralph D’Elia all of Woburn, MA; eleven grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Ralph, and daughter Mary Ann D’Elia in February of 2020.

There will be services in Munising on Monday, September 21, 2020 at the Bowerman Funeral Home. Due to Michigan’s executive orders, masks will be required, and the funeral home staff will assist with the social distance and compliance during the visitation which will be from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. Father Michael Ocran will lead a Parish Vigil Service at 4 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Anthony Parish in Woburn and she will be buried at the Calvary Cemetery in Woburn, MA.

Mary’s obituary and online guestbook may be signed at bowermanfuneralhome.net



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Adult-use marijuana retailer opens in Houghton | News, Sports, Jobs

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HOUGHTON — The Copper Country’s first recreational marijuana retailer opened for business this week.

Northern Specialty Health in Houghton began recreational sales this week after receiving state approval earlier this month. It had previously only sold medical marijuana.

“It feels amazing to say ‘yes’ when people ask if we offer adult-use cannabis sales, aka recreational,” co-owner Penny Milkey said in an email interview. “We’ve been turning people away for months so everyone is really happy to serve customers 21+.”

The adult-use and medical sides of NSH keep different inventories, and many items are specific to the license type, Milkey said.

For now, recreational inventory is mostly limited to flower, prerolls, concentrates and Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), an extract cannabis oil. The business plans to add edibles next week, and vape cartridges in the near future, Milkey said.

Due to COVID-19, the lobby is closed, but NSH offers curbside pickup. Customers can order online; the menu indicates whether a product is adult-use or medical.

Milkey said NSH is trying to keep its phone line open for medical patients needing assistance.

The Houghton City Council voted to allow recreational marijuana sales within the city in May, and approved a special-use permit for NSH the next month. There is no limit on the number of retailers that can operate in the city, though they are restricted geographically to a corridor along Razorback Drive.

At least two other retailers are looking to follow in Northern Specialty Health’s footsteps, both of whom operate other shops in the Upper Peninsula. The council approved a special use permit for Lume Cannabis Co. in August. On Tuesday, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on a special use permit request by the Fire Station.

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