Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Superior Court Slaps Down Seattle Social Justice Warriors' Attempt to Introduce an Income Tax

The first positive news I have heard out of Seattle in a long time.

The Wall Street Journal reports:
Seattle’s City Council openly ignored the state of Washington’s law and constitution when it voted unanimously in July to levy a 2.25% tax its wealthy residents. The Freedom Foundation, a local think tank, and other organizations sued to block the ordinance. In pleasant news that received little attention because it came down on the day before Thanksgiving, the King County Superior Court ruled that the tax is illegal.

Seattle’s defense relied heavily on linguistic contortions. A Washington statute explicitly forbids cities and counties from taxing net income. So city councillors claimed they were really taxing “total income,” even though they were using a federal tax-form line item that tallies various net earnings and net income sources. Dismissing this argument, Judge John R. Ruhl noted that “the sum of several net figures necessarily is a net figure.”

In its first sentence, the Seattle ordinance states that it imposes “an income tax on high-income residents.” But in court Seattle insisted that it had enacted an “excise tax,” which happens to be permissible under state law.

Judge Ruhl did not find this logic credible. “The City’s tax, which is labeled ‘Income Tax,’ is exactly that,” he dryly observed. “It cannot be restyled as an ‘excise tax’ on the alternate ‘privileges’ of receiving revenue in Seattle or choosing to live in Seattle.”

No comments:

Post a Comment