Shot down to the ground
This state won’t put up with taxes.
Voters rejected a proposed tax on carbon emissions and preemptively banned taxes on food and sugary beverages that hadn’t even been proposed during the Nov. 6 midterm elections.
Initiative 1631, which would have placed a $15 fee per metric ton of carbon emissions, fell with under 44 percent of the vote while a ban on new taxes on sugary beverages and other food items got support from 55.6 percent of voters.
The oil and gas industry spent almost $30 million to defeat the carbon tax, while beverage corporations put more than $20 million behind the ban on new soda taxes. That support undermined the messaging that initiative 1634 was meant to keep groceries cheap, a line so difficult to swallow that The Seattle Times editorial board called it “misleading.” Burn.
The vote comes against the backdrop of a brutal report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations body that found that if countries don’t fundamentally change the workings of the global economic system, we are all going to burn.
Carbon taxes were one key policy option to prevent global apocalypse highlighted in the report.
Out in the rain
A report by Apartment List shows that post-9/11 veterans are the first and only generation of former servicemembers to be more likely than civilians to struggle with housing affordability.
According to the report, this category of veterans is 5 percent less likely to be able to afford housing than their civilian counterparts, “even when controlling for age, race, gender and location.”
The report, titled “The Housing Affordability Struggle of 21st Century Veterans,” showed that younger veterans are also less likely to own their own homes than veterans of previous generations. When researchers attempted to isolate the reasons why this might be the case, stock hypotheses — lower earnings, preference for expensive places or supporting larger households — all fell flat.
“We believe more research is needed to get to the root of the issue and allow policy to adjust,” wrote Igor Popov, chief economist at Apartment List.
Rumors are confirmed that Amazon’s newest headquarters will be split between Washington D.C. and New York City — to which economic geographers everywhere are saying, “Of course.”
Despite Seattle’s early and somewhat ridiculous plea to be its own satellite office, Jeff Bezos’ empire appears to have opted for the Eastern Standard Time in two cities with access to large universities, tech talent and the capacity to entice young professionals.
To all those who prostrated themselves in an attempt to snag the whale: Don’t worry. There’s always another race to the bottom.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC
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