King County judge rejects challenge to Seattle’s “JumpStart” payroll tax.

King County Superior Court Judge Mary Roberts Friday ruled against the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce in its challenge to the city’s new “JumpStart” payroll tax. The Seattle Times reports

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce had challenged the city’s “JumpStart” tax, arguing it was a tax on employees and calling it “illegal, invalid, and unenforceable.”

But King County Superior Court Judge Mary Roberts sided with the city, ruling the tax applies to businesses, not their employees, and “is a constitutionally permissible excise tax on the privilege of doing business.”

“The City has authority to tax all business activities in the City,” Roberts wrote. “Employees do not pay the tax. The court concludes that the payroll expense tax is a permissible tax on the privilege of doing business.”

We last wrote about the challenge here.

The ST reports the next step for the Chamber has yet to be determined.

Rachel Smith, president and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, said they “are working with our legal team to explore next steps.”

“Today’s ruling underscores the need for the city to put forward a sustainable recovery plan to emerge from the pandemic and revitalize our region,” Smith said. “The projections for the JumpStart Tax depend on businesses reopening and many more people coming back to work in Seattle.”