Wealthy donors grow war chest for PAC seeking to overturn state’s capital gains tax

Apr 11, 2022, 9:07 AM

Capital gains tax, income tax...

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

The political action committee behind an initiative to repeal Washington’s capital gains tax has continued to rake in funds from wealthy donors, having now brought in over $211,000, with another $440,000 in pledged contributions.

The committee — registered as “Repeal the Capital Gains Income Tax” — has taken in the bulk of its funds from Columbia Pacific Advisors Vice President Stan Baty, who donated $100,000 to the group in late March. Other contributions include $50,000 from Mary Kay McCaw, the wife of late billionaire Keith McCaw, and $20,000 each from prominent Republican donors Steve Gordon and Brian Heywood.

Figuring out how state Supreme Court might rule on challenge to capital gains tax

Gordon has also pledged to donate another $100,000, with other pledges including $5,000 from former Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant, $50,000 from former Columbia Bank Chairman Bill Weyerhaeuser, $50,000 from Columbia Ventures CEO Ken Peterson, and $100,000 from First Republic Private Wealth Management Managing Director Phil Schlaepfer.

The initiative the PAC is supporting was filed with the state in late March by Chehalis attorney J. Vander Stoep, seeking to repeal SB 5096, which created a 7% excise tax on the sale or exchange of capital assets above $250,000.

In its text, the initiative alleges that state lawmakers “will continue to try and impose taxes on different forms of income” if the capital gains tax is allowed to remain in place, “despite voters repeatedly rejecting such taxes.”

In early March, a Douglas County Superior Court ruled the tax unconstitutional, siding with plaintiffs in supporting their definition of capital gains as income. The capital gains tax remains in place in the meantime ahead of a possible hearing with the Washington Supreme Court.

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Wealthy donors grow war chest for PAC seeking to overturn state’s capital gains tax