Seattle uses tax on biggest businesses to fund program to curb homelessness. How Nashville is funding a $5.2bn transit upgrade

By Katie Pyzyk@_PyintheSky, 16 Oct 2017 Smart City Dive Two Seattle councilmembers have proposed a business tax that could generate up to $24 million a year to fund the H.O.M.E.S (Housing, Outreach, and Mass-Entry Shelter) program, developed to alleviate the city’s homelessness crisis, according to GeekWire and others. The tax would be imposed upon the city’s highest-grossing businesses, which are those with at …

Chuck Collins: Arm yourself with the facts about the tax cut – 80% of it goes to the top 1%, who already pay less than everyone else

For decades, writes Collins, “big corporations have made middle class taxpayers and small businesses pick up the slack for funding care for veterans, public infrastructure, cyber security, and hurricane mop-ups. Let’s not give them another tax break for their trouble.” (Image: CD / CC BY 3.0) For 40 years, tax cutters in Congress have told us, “we have a tax …

Poverty in America

Over three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and about half of this group has reported “material hardship” (running out of food [or worrying about running out of food], not being able to afford a place to live or medical treatment, or having utilities turned off). Worse yet, they don’t have savings to handle the future or crises that arise, whether plumbing, car repairs, …

A closer look at carbon taxes in/for the U.S. and Canada and what could work

An essay on the subject by Mark Jaccard of Simon Fraser University on Policy Options: When asked which climate policy in Canada reduced the most CO2 emissions over the last decade, many people guess BC’s well-publicized carbon tax. They’re wrong. It was Ontario’s ban on coal-fired power, which reduced annual emissions by 25 megatonnes (MT). Surely, then, BC’s carbon tax must have …

Another con: here’s where your tax dollars for defense are really going

By William Hartung, The Nation, October 2017 Here’s a question for you: How do you spell boondoggle? The answer (in case you didn’t already know): P-e-n-t-a-g-o-n. Hawks on Capitol Hill and in the US military routinely justify increases in the Defense Department’s already munificent budget by arguing that yet more money is needed to “support the troops.” If you’re already …

Pricing cuts traffic. Massachusetts lawmakers have already proposed a tax on driverless vehicles to prevent zombie cars. The bill calls for a per-mile fee of at least $0.025.

By Danielle Muoio, Business Insider, 4 Jun 2017 A fleet of self-driving Ubers in Pittsburgh. Business Insider/Corey Protin Self-driving cars might make your future commute a lot more pleasant, but they won’t eliminate traffic. Execs like Google cofounder Sergey Brin have touted traffic reduction as one of the many benefits of having self-driving cars on the road. The idea is that autonomous cars will eliminate accidents caused by …

People cut back on driving when they pay daily rather than monthly.

By Brian Lutenegger, SSTI News, 28 Aug 2017 The psychology of daily versus monthly parking fees The Seattle Times recently reported on the experiences of several major employers trying innovative ways to charge for commuter parking. These employers found that how parking for commuters is priced—on a daily vs. a monthly basis—makes a big difference in their employees’ commuting habits. By allowing their employees the …

Reversing inequality: Unleashing the transformative potential of an equitable economy

From the P2P Foundation and the Democracy Collaborative A new report explains how the rules governing the US economy are tipped in favour of asset owners over wage earners, and offers solutions to transform our system. Authored by Chuck Collins and published by the Institute of Policy Studies and the Next System Project. The US economy’s deep systemic inequalities of …

Highway congestion, America’s Soviet bread line problem, needs a price

By Stephen Crim, Mobility Lab – April 7, 2016  How are America’s roadways like Soviet bread lines? Both are crowded and time-consuming because individuals aren’t paying the right value for the things they want. Congestion pricing offers a solution. In the middle of the 20th century, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, people saw healthy doses of propaganda about the material benefits that …