Judge Rules Seattle’s Income Tax On Wealthy Is Illegal

By Aaron Kesel

A Seattle King County Superior Court ruled that a controversial piece of legislation meant to tax wealthy households is illegal, Seattle Times reported.

In a judgment, Judge John R. Ruhl said the city ordinance adopted in July is not authorized under state law.

“ … the City’s tax, which is labeled ‘Income Tax,’ is exactly that,” he wrote. “It cannot be restyled as an ‘excise tax’ on the … ‘privileges’ of receiving revenue in Seattle or choosing to live in Seattle.”

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess said in a joint statement that their goal is to eliminate the state’s “over-reliance on regressive sales taxes” and ensure the wealthy pay their fair share and the ruling was “disappointing,” but they would continue their efforts and appeal the decision.

“In order to build a more just and equitable society for all, we need a serious overhaul of our state’s tax structure. We know some argue against any income taxes at all, but we would point out that we already have a corporate income tax in this state — through the business and occupation tax. But we need more progressive tax sources, not fewer. The Seattle income tax was an attempt to move toward this goal, and we are hopeful that it will be upheld on appeal,” they wrote.

The taxation effort was a part of what local lawmakers called “a new formula for fairness” that was passed unanimously by the Seattle City Council back in July, GeekWire reported.

The tax measure requires Seattle residents to pay a 2.25-percent tax if they are a single and make more than $250,000 annually or a couple filing jointly and make more than $500,000.

The tax bill’s passage prompted a court challenge from the Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank that considers the tax a slippery slope.

“In our system of government, the Legislature makes laws and the courts interpret them,” Freedom Foundation Chief Litigation Counsel David Dewhirst told Fox News in a statement. “If you want to change the existing tax laws, you can ask your legislator to introduce a bill, or you can sponsor a ballot initiative. And if you want to amend the Constitution, there’s a process for that too.”

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The city estimates the new tax would raise $140 million a year and cost between $10 million and $13 million to set up, plus an additional $6 million a year to enforce. The money would go toward affordable housing projects as well as other services for lower-paid workers.

A Washington state law state law passed in 1984 states “a county, city, or city-county shall not levy a tax on net income.”

However, state lawyers claimed that the city has a right to tax people on the privilege of living in Seattle, stating that living there is a choice and not forced.

“Where you choose to live is a voluntary choice and you make that choice based on what the benefits are to that choice and also the detriment, whatever the tax consequences are to making that choice,” said Paul Lawrence, an attorney for the city, during the hearing. “If they don’t like the tax consequences that Seattle has chosen to do, an income tax, they can move to Bellevue.”

Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, an early Amazon investor supports the tax as a way to fund social services.

“You want good neighborhoods, schools, roads, fire, police, somebody has to pay for it,” Hanauer told Bloomberg. “And the people with money are where you have to go to get the money.”

Hanauer, as well as Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, would not be subject to the tax because all three men live outside of Seattle in the suburbs.

“Here, we have the tragic irony of the two richest people of the world living right next to thousands of people with no homes at all,” Seattle lawmaker Kshama Sawant said during a past City Council meeting on the income tax. “And far from paying their fair share, Seattle’s wealthiest pay the least in taxes,” GeekWire reported.

Voters have rejected personal income tax-related proposals several times over the past decade including in 2010 when voters defeated Initiative 1098, which would have established a state income tax on citizens making more than $200,000 a year and couples making above $400,000 a year.

Voters approved an income tax in 1932, but the state Supreme Court ruled the proposal unconstitutional just like this recent attempt. Washington is one of seven states without a personal income tax, while a state law passed in 1984 also prohibits a county, city, or city-county from levying a tax on net income.

Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Steemit, and BitChute. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.


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41 Comments on "Judge Rules Seattle’s Income Tax On Wealthy Is Illegal"

  1. “In order to build a more just and equitable society for all……………..

    From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

    We are so screwed..

  2. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:41 pm | Reply

    .
    Taxpayers Now Face govt employee Postal Union’s $100 Billion in Unfunded Liabilities.
    The postal labor union insists that nothing is wrong —
    nothing a taxpayer funded postage $tamp fee increase bailout wouldn’t solve..
    .

  3. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Reply

    “Gold is the money of kings,
    silver is the money of gentlemen,
    barter is the money of peasants –
    but
    debt is the money of slaves.”.,

  4. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Reply

    .
    .
    the federal reserve / military industrial complex system has been corrupted
    to where you can never avoid paying taxes to fund banker induced debt slave war .

    your money is taxed away from you , before you ever get a paycheck.
    .

  5. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Reply

    US Published National Debt..$19,846,205,419,111

    The Truth….$101,800,291,866,096

    Your Share of odious debt : $313,000

  6. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:43 pm | Reply

    the best time to make money..
    is when the blood of the taxpayer is running in the streets
    …Rockefeller.

  7. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:44 pm | Reply

    Catherine Austin fitts
    says taxpayer funded govt employee labor union pension debt bailout is needed
    you need to pay $ 41 trillion….in new taxes

  8. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:44 pm | Reply

    Nancy Pelosi Says Letting Americans Keep Money They Earn Is Stealing…..
    2017 – Because Nancy Pelosi hates everything that isn’t benefiting
    illegals … Letting Americans keep more of the money they earn is
    stealing from the illegals she houses and cares for

  9. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:47 pm | Reply

    comey’s brother is Clinton’s tax accountant

    Peter Comey, works at DLA Piper law firm in Washington, D.C.
    James Comey was general counsel and vice president for Lockheed Martin the
    same place vegas shooter paddock supposedly worked for .

  10. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:47 pm | Reply

    Panama Papers Fonseca off shore tax shelter traced back to Harry Reid..

  11. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:48 pm | Reply

    stupid Americans will pay a free health care tax…gruber

  12. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:48 pm | Reply

    60% of occupants living in taxpayer funded HUD housing in the USA are illegals

    Illegal Immigration Costs $135B |

  13. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:49 pm | Reply

    Jerry Brown’s California ‘freeloaders’ tax hike – Washington …
    https://www.washingtontimes……
    May 21, 2017 – California Gov. Jerry Brown . trying to shame
    taxpayers in to funding trillions in govt employee labor union unfunded
    liabilities , referring to the taxpayers as freeloaders

  14. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:50 pm | Reply

    Jun 21, 2013 – The IRS sent more than $46 million in tax refunds to
    23,994 illegal alien workers who all listed the same address in Atlanta, Ga.

  15. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:50 pm | Reply

    $21.8 million in ObamaCare tax credits
    ………………….awarded to illegals who were not eligible to receive them..

  16. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:50 pm | Reply

    May 14, 2017 –
    Jerry Brown enacts $15 million tax increase to expand more help to illegals

  17. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Reply

    .
    .
    fraud negates consent.
    .
    .

  18. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Reply

    .
    Taxpayer funded Pentagon budget is around $700 billion..,,..
    …..
    The Pentagon’s
    own auditors found they cannot account for 25 percent of their daily
    expenditures.That means Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the
    Pentagon loses around $86 million tax dollars an hour. The Pentagon
    loses more of your tax dollar money before lunch each day than
    Americans will see in their entire life times

  19. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 9:53 pm | Reply

    TAXPAYERS GET THE SCREWS.
    .
    $37 screws,
    a $7,622 coffee maker,

    $640 toilet seats; :

    suppliers to our …

    articles.latimes.com/1986-0…
    Jul 30, 1986 – $37 screws, a $7,622 coffee maker, $640 toilet seats; :
    suppliers to our military just won’t be oversold … Marine helicopter
    flew over the car; I realized then that all the taxes I had …
    According to the U.S. attorney, the company “grossly inflated prices …
    A handy book for any taxpayer is “The Pentagon Catalog” …

    For Pentagon, the price isn’t right | TheHill

    thehill.com/opinion/opinion…

    Jul 23, 2014 – His first offer was to reduce the price by $100, making it a
    $540 toilet … For example, a military retirement system had an
    unfunded liability over $500 billion, … including the infamous $435
    hammer, our leaders took prompt, … to refuse to continue to pay Bell
    and Boeing these inflated amounts for spare parts.

    Only the Pentagon Could Spend $640 on a Toilet Seat | The Nation

    https://www.thenation.com/a

    Apr 11, 2016 – Only the Pentagon Could Spend $640 on a Toilet Seat …. At
    $1.4 trillion in procurement and operating costs over its lifetime, it
    will be the most …

    Pentagon Spending – tribunedigital-chicagotribune

    articles.chicagotribune.com……

    Aug 4, 1985 – “Yet here you`ve got a list of parts that only cost 92 cents
    locally … We wouldn`t be too upset if they were paying 60 cents for a
    30-cent bolt. … but over inflated pentagon pricing for supplies ,
    ranging from $435 for a $5 hammer to over $600 for a toilet
    seat…through no-bid contract labor union lobbying ..

  20. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 10:23 pm | Reply

    George Soros’ $18 Billion Tax Dodge Scam Exposed

  21. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 24, 2017 at 10:26 pm | Reply

    $37 scr3ws, a $7,622 coffee maker, $640 toilet seats; : suppliers to our …

    Jul
    30, 1986 – $37 scr3ws, a $7,622 coffee maker, $640 toilet seats; :
    suppliers to our military just won’t be oversold … Marine helicopter
    flew over the car; I realized then that all the taxes I had …
    According to the U.S. attorney, the company “grossly inflated prices …
    A handy book for any taxpayer is “The Pentagon Catalog” …

    For Pentagon, the price isn’t right | TheHill

    Jul
    23, 2014 – His first offer was to reduce the price by $100, making it a
    $540 toilet … For example, the military industrial complex retirement system has an
    unfunded pension liability over $500 billion, … including the infamous $435
    hammer, our leaders took prompt, … to refuse to continue to pay Bell
    and Boeing these inflated amounts for spare parts.

    Only the Pentagon Could Spend $640 on a Toilet Seat | The Nation

    Apr
    11, 2016 – Only the Pentagon Could Spend $640 on a Toilet Seat …. At
    $1.4 trillion in procurement and operating costs over its lifetime, it
    will be the most …

    Pentagon Spending

    Aug
    4, 1985 – “Yet here you`ve got a list of parts that only cost 92 cents
    locally … We wouldn`t be too upset if they were paying 60 cents for a
    30-cent bolt. … but over inflated pentagon pricing for supplies ,
    ranging from $435 for a $5 hammer to over $600 for a toilet
    seat…through no-bid contract labor union lobbying ..

  22. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 25, 2017 at 8:26 am | Reply

    another taxpayer funded judge
    rules in favor of tax shelter building corruption

    • Ah, what does that statement have to do with refried beans? We are talking redistribution of wealth, otherwise known as Socialism. Read Devin Dider’s response. It is the best one.

      • Socialism is better than your system of greed and mass murder. Let’s shoot the 1%. It is high time the guilty vermin were liquidated.

        • If you killed the 1% and stole their money, it would fund the USA government about 3 months; then you have to go back to stealing from the 99%.

          Libtard.

          • Socialism made Russia great and put them in space long before the arrogant and greedy. Russia had such a huge disadvantage from defeat in WW1, a civil war and invasion from the USA and its nasty friends. 20 years later the Soviet Union beat the Germans and all their allies in WW2. USA only ever uses a big mouth, including Trump’s ridiculous boast about USA destroying ISIS. Socialism also made North Vietnam great when they totally humiliated stupid mouthy America.

          • Glenn Festog | December 18, 2017 at 8:00 pm |

            Please send your information to Putin; I’m sure the propaganda value of your personal discovery of Russia’s nuking of two cities in Japan to end the war with Hitler’s allies to be of great value.

            While you’re revising things in WWII, perhaps the suggestion that those millions of Ukrainians simply committed suicide under the influence of all that Russian testosterone wafting across the border, as opposed to being slaughtered by the forces of “socialism”. ?

            There are plenty of Americans, the majority in fact, who never WANTED war. Any of them.

            I’ve yet to find any society existing today that DOESN’T have a bad element. A lot of times, they end up running things. The case you offer begins with the murder of Tzar Nickolas and family; not fair and public trial and execution. Just shot dead in a basement like any cheap ganglord being deposed by the next. Ooh! What about the brave and loyal Russian Mafia! How nobly they ran large sections of the economy (and skimmed, oh how they skimmed) for themselves and their Commissar Members (and friends).

            As to America: farking CIA has been running things since they killed Kennedy (3 to date). Don’t make the mistake of judging the citizens by the government and, where governments are concerned, there’s plenty of stupid out there all over the world. ?

        • The only thing that Socialism benefits are the ones running the show. They live like fat pigs while the rest live on their scraps.

  23. Seattle should pass a law outlawing wealth. No one can have a net worth over 5 million. We should all class greed as a mental illness.

    • RegisteredDemocrat | November 25, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Reply

      OMG this is the MOST amazing idea ever! However, nobody really need anything more than $50,000 annually per person. $5 million is totally absurd and greedy.

      • While you’re at it, why don’t you take everyone’s property away, and then redistribute equally among all residents. Of course, those administering the program get an extra cut because they are all greedy and corrupt anyway. Seriously, let’s see how quickly you can make Seattle a true hell-hole full of nothing but lazy, non-creative types that destroy the city because they have no appreciation for it.

        • Yes let us just stop USA stealing everything and then let us watch those worthless losers live on things they don’t steal.

      • Go live in Venezuela. This country is not socialist or communist. At least not yet. Why you live in the U.S. is beyond reason if you feel the way you have demonstrated.

  24. RegisteredDemocrat | November 25, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Reply

    That judge needs to be THROWN IN PRISON! All the 1%ers need to start paying their fair share.

  25. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | November 26, 2017 at 9:27 pm | Reply

    I can make ten times more money in one day of war
    than I can in a whole year of peace.
    the Rothschilds,
    ………………………………………..
    Making Money from War–
    THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD
    The World’s Banker, 1849-1999
    By Niall Ferguson

  26. Well, it seems that former mayor and flaming pederast, Ed Murray, stepped out of Seattle politics just in time to miss being embroiled in this controversial legislation.
    It’s a good thing for him that something more important than the damage he did with multiple rapes of several boys– including his foster son– has captured the public’s attention so that he doesn’t have to order his cheese pizza from inside a jail cell.

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