The proposal to allow poverty as a defense against property crimes is an increasing regressive tax on real property owners. It is a tax because property owners will have to pay for the damage caused by the misdemeanors, pay to block trespassing and theft, and eventually pay to move away from these problems.
It is an increasing tax because these crimes will increase as the higher demand for jury trials cloga our courts and prevents presenting these crimes in court. And it is a regressive tax because the costs property owners face (such as hiring private guards) are fixed costs and will proportionately affect the poorer property owners much more than the richer owners.
It looks like the Seattle City Council has given up trying to fairly apportion the costs of this crisis and is instead picking on those who lack the resources to oppose them.
Kim Peterson, Seattle