MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Seattle collected much less than predicted from gun tax

Aug 15, 2017, 9:32 AM

(File, Associated Press)...

(File, Associated Press)

(File, Associated Press)

Seattle’s gun tax brought in much less than expected in its first year.

City leaders expected the tax to bring in between $300,000 and $500,000 a year when they approved it. But it brought in just over $100,000 in 2016.

RELATED: What has happened under Seattle’s gun tax

The city had long refused to reveal the dollar amount, citing privacy concerns of people who pay the tax.

“Given the limited number of quarterly returns filed, the City believes releasing any information at this time about the number of filers or amount reported would risk revealing identifying taxpayer information, which is protected from disclosure per Seattle Municipal Code and state law,” the city said in response to a records request.

Earlier this year, the city revealed the tax had brought in less than expected, but would only say it was less than $200,000. The numbers released this week come after a judge ordered the city to release the data following a public records battle with TheGunMag.

A lawsuit challenging the tax failed last week when the state Supreme Court ruled it was legal. In an 8-1 decision, the justices agreed with the city’s argument that the tax is different from a regulation.

“Historically, there has been a difference between regulations as such and taxation,” Attorney Phil Talmadge told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. “The Supreme Court has had a protocol for deciding what is a regulatory process, or a fee, and what constitutes a tax. They applied that analysis pretty faithfully in this opinion. Like it or dislike it, that’s the way they’ve done it.”

Seattle passed its gun tax in August 2015. It was aimed at funding gun-violence prevention, research and other programs to mitigate the public costs of gun-related crimes. The effort was spearheaded by Councilmember Tim Burgess. It places a $25 tax on guns sold in Seattle, and up to 5 cents on each round of ammunition.

MyNorthwest News

Photo: Seattle detectives are looking for a vehicle involved in a deadly hit-and-run that happened ...

Julia Dallas

Seattle detectives looking for vehicle involved in deadly hit-and-run

Seattle detectives are looking for a vehicle involved in a deadly hit-and-run that happened in the Denny Triangle neighborhood Friday.

7 hours ago

Image:A portrait of Officer Vancouver Police Department officer Donald Sahota is displayed as he is...

Steve Coogan

Man convicted of murder in death of Vancouver police officer shot by deputy

A Yakima man was found guilty of murder for his role in the death of a Vancouver police officer who was shot by a sheriff's deputy in error.

8 hours ago

Image:A Sultan man has filed a lawsuit after two Snohomish County deputies shot him multiple times ...

Louie Tran, KIRO 7 News

Sultan man sues two Snohomish County deputies after they shot him, dog multiple times

Sultan man sues two Snohomish County deputies after they shot him, dog multiple times

8 hours ago

Image: Hundreds gather at Seattle's Wing Luke Museum to ring in the Lunar New Year in 2023....

Steve Coogan

Wing Luke Museum closes after employees walk out in protest of ‘Hate’ exhibit

About two dozen employees of Seattle's Wing Luke Museum staged a walkout Wednesday to protest an exhibit that was set to begin.

9 hours ago

Image: In this photo provided by Iditarod rookie musher Bridgett Watkins, a bull moose stands betwe...

Steve Coogan

A moose killed a man in Alaska. Could it happen in Washington?

A 70-year-old man who was attempting to take photos of two newborn moose calves was killed by their mother, authorities said.

11 hours ago

Image: Trooper Barry Marcus has been with the Washington State Patrol since 1992....

Steve Coogan

WSP trooper ‘saved untold lives, perhaps yours’ as he made 4,000th DUI arrest

Trooper Barry Marcus, a Spokane-based Washington State Patrol veteran, made the notable DUI arrest April 30, the agency reported Friday.

14 hours ago

Seattle collected much less than predicted from gun tax