On Monday, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved an income tax on wealthy residents of the city. The measure imposes a 2.25% tax on total income above $250,000 for individuals and above $500,000 for married couples filing their taxes together.
The city estimates the tax would raise about $14 million a year and cost $10 million to $13 million to implement; another $5 million to $6 million per year would be required to manage and enforce the tax.
Jason Mercier of the Washington Policy Center pointed out the problems with raising the tax, arguing, “As all powerful as the (Seattle) City Council may be, they do not have the power to change the state constitution. He added that there is a flat-out ban on local income taxes. Mercier said there will be a lawsuit filed in the next week or so, after the mayor signs the tax into law. The Seattle Times said Mercier noted that “the state constitution says taxes must be uniform within a class of property; a 1984 state law bars cities from taxing net income; and cities must have state authority to enact taxes.”
Mayor Ed Murray lauded the tax, ejaculating that Seattle is “challenging this state’s antiquated and unsustainable tax structure by passing a progressive income tax,” and adding it was a “new formula for fairness.”
Washington State Republican Party chair Susan Hutchison responded to the passage of the bill by urging Seattle residents to “forcefully resist the tax” by refusing to pay it.
It shouldn’t be surprising that the socialist haven passed such a measure; a KING 5/KUOW poll last month found 66% of adults polled wanted an income tax on the wealthy.
11,000 individuals in Seattle earned at least $250,000 in 2015, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.