MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Seattle income tax case heads to Washington State Supreme Court

Nov 1, 2019, 1:05 PM | Updated: Nov 3, 2019, 1:29 pm

Income tax, Legislature...

The income tax continues to spark debate statewide.(Chris Potter, Flickr)

Seattle’s income tax saga will soon head to the Washington State Supreme Court. This comes after an appeals court refused to reconsider a July ruling, when it previously stated that a uniform tax across all earners was constitutional.

Court rules Seattle can impose an income tax in stunning decision

The decision came in on Wednesday, succinctly rejecting an appeal that asked the court to take a second look at its July ruling.

“The panel has determined that the motion for reconsideration and the request for oral argument be denied,” the ruling reads.

This leaves the door open for a showdown in Washington’s Supreme Court, where a few different things will need to be decided:

  • Whether the income tax on high-earners Seattle approved in 2018 can be implemented at all
  • Whether the appeal’s court decision allowing a uniform tax across all earners is Constitutional
  • Whether income qualifies as property

The City of Seattle is hoping to see a 90-year-old legal precedent that labels income as property overturned, something that’s been a major roadblock toward levying an income tax anywhere in Washington state.

Meanwhile, Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold is planning ahead, with a budget proposal for implementing the tax should the city win its case in the state Supreme Court.

Seattle City Council knew income tax was illegal before passing tax

Should the proposal get struck down, Councilmember Sally Bagshaw has a separate, alternative idea:

“Re-examining the possibility of an unearned income tax, which we know is constitutional if it starts at $0,” she proposed. “We consider this far more progressive.”

Essentially, Bagshaw’s proposal would levy a tax against things like stock dividends, interest, and capital gains.

MyNorthwest News

Image: A Seattle Police Department vehicle...

Heather Bosch

Accused Seattle home invasion robbers face hate crime charges

King County Prosecutors have filed hate crime charges against two men allegedly involved in at least three home invasion robberies.

2 hours ago

Image: An artist rendering of the proposed In-N-Out Burger in Ridgefield...

Steve Coogan

First In-N-Out Burger to come to the state of Washington

Ridgefield City Manager Steve Stuart confirmed Thursday the city has received a building permit application from In-N-Out Burger.

2 hours ago

Image: Monroe High School....

Julia Dallas

Monroe teacher being investigated for alleged sexual misconduct with student

A Monroe High School teacher is under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct with at least one student.

6 hours ago

federal way baby kidnap...

Frank Sumrall

Florida couple arrested after kidnapping a relative’s baby in Federal Way

In order to kidnap the baby, the couple allegedly zip-tied the mother in her home in Federal Way and stuffed the child in a red duffle bag.

9 hours ago

Foster teens...

Bill Kaczaraba

Wash. foster children could get boost from legislature

State senate legislation recently approved by the House aims to enhance foster care support for young people aged 18 to 21.

10 hours ago

Seattle home sales...

Bill Kaczaraba

Redfin: Seattle-area home sales impacted by climate, environmental factors

Seattle-area home buyers are becoming more interested in factors beyond the home itself. Redfin has added a 'Climate' tab to its website.

11 hours ago

Seattle income tax case heads to Washington State Supreme Court