Seattle has been wanting to implement a citywide income tax. However, this income tax will not come to be. A judge ruled that such an income tax is against the constitution of Washington State. Many residents are happy with the decision that was made by the Superior Judge of Kings County. Attorneys who argued against the tax said that this decision is a victory for every taxpayer in Seattle.
The income tax, which was passed by the city and its legislators, said that people who live in Seattle and who earn more than $240,000 a year, or people who earn more than $500,000 a year if they are filing taxes jointly, have to pay a 2.25% income tax.
The State Constitution and previous legal rulings clearly state that a city or county in Washington State cannot tax net income. The city said that there is a difference between net income and total income. However, the judge ruled otherwise, saying that the tax was on net income, and it was therefore unconstitutional.
Another argument that was made by the city was that it was not an income tax at all but an excise tax. They argued that an excise tax, which is levied on citizens for choosing to do something voluntarily, is okay. They argued that earning a wage by working is something that is voluntary, and that living in Seattle is voluntary, and if someone wants to they can move out of Seattle to a nearby suburb or just not work, so taxing income is not a problem. However, the judge decided that that was not the case. Voters in Washington have consistently voted down local income taxes. Most voters do not want additional taxes levied upon them by their local city or county.