A Seattle judge has ruled that a tax hike on the wealthy is illegal.
From The Seattle Times:
Seattle’s income tax on wealthy households failed its first legal test Wednesday, with a King County Superior Court ruling that the measure is illegal.
In a summary judgment, Judge John R. Ruhl agreed with multiple challengers that the city ordinance adopted in July is not authorized under state law.
Opponents of Seattle’s so-called “wealth tax” immediately hailed the ruling as proof that the city long has known the tax was legally flawed, but nonetheless pushed it into law.
“The city knowingly violated several laws in imposing this tax,” said Brian T. Hodges, a senior attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation, which represented several Seattle residents challenging the law. “This ruling is probably the worst scenario for the city and the best scenario for the opponents of the income tax.”
While Wednesday’s decision is disappointing, the city intends to appeal it directly to the State Supreme Court, where officials always expected the question to be decided, a spokeswoman for Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said in an email.
In a joint statement, Holmes and Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess said their goal is to eliminate the state’s overreliance on regressive sales taxes and ensure the wealthy pay their fair share.
Washington’s tax system has been called the most regressive in the country, meaning that low-income people pay a much higher percentage of their earnings than wealthier residents.
Read more: (Link: www.seattletimes.com)