Publisher’s Notes are the personal opinions of The Distorter’s Publisher-in-Chief and do not necessarily represent the official editorial position of The Distorter.
Dear Mercer Island Neighbors:
I understand that your initial reaction to the enactment of a new tax on high-income Seattle residents may be gloating, or even rejoicing. You may exult in this reinforcement of your well-deserved feelings of superiority, or revel in the promise that this legislation, if ultimately successful, will increase your property values. But I implore you to cast aside these feelings and instead move towards the light of your better selves, to be compassionate and understanding to those less fortunate than us. In this case, put-upon Seattle families with annual incomes above $500,000. For we have more in common with them than you might realize.
As a news publisher, I feel compelled to shine a spotlight on the reality that the Seattle media establishment conveniently overlooks: Affluent Seattle families already face significant financial burdens as a result of their circumstances. These costs represent de facto, hidden taxes of which people unafflicted by high incomes are largely unaware.
Let’s start with the big one: Education. Have you ever met a high-income Seattle resident who sends their children to public schools? Neither have I. Private school tuition exceeds $25,000 a year, equivalent to a five percent tax. Per kid.
Then there are those unavoidable encumbrances which many of us Islanders also bear. Child care: The supply of trilingual nannies who have trained in Michelin-starred restaurants is not unlimited, and many of them insist that you contribute to their 401(k) plans. Attorney fees, for when your neighbor wants to build an addition that obstructs your view (or when your spouse gets a little too friendly with that nanny). And, for those of us who have no choice but to live on properties that abut water, boat and dock maintenance. Trust me; it adds up.
So, my fellow Islanders, let’s not be too quick to judge others who live with challenges that we cannot fully understand, lest we too be judged. To paraphrase a famous poem:
First they came for the rich Seattleites, and I did not speak out,
For I was not a rich Seattleite,
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out.
The Mercer Island Distorter