The state Supreme Court yesterday chose not to take up Seattle’s controversial income tax.
The Seattle Times reports that the city will continue to press its case.
…City Attorney Pete Holmes said the city wouldn’t be giving up.
“While we felt the state Supreme Court was the most appropriate forum to address the constitutional issues we hope to resolve in this case, we’re happy to first take our arguments to the Court of Appeals,” Holmes said.
“Whatever the outcome at the appellate court, either side will have the opportunity to petition our state Supreme Court for appeal.”
The Washington Research Council writes that the city’s case rests on shaky foundations.
The City of Seattle appealed directly to the state Supreme Court [after a Superior Court judge found that the tax was not authorized by the Legislature and that cities are prohibited by statute from imposing a tax on net income] in the hopes that the Supreme Court would address the constitutionality of income taxes. With yesterday’s order, the case will instead go to the Court of Appeals.
In a policy brief last year, we argued that Seattle should abandon the appeal: “There is, after all, a well-established process for changing the state constitution and state statute. It requires legislative action and voter approval; that is, the power of persuasion.”
We’ve followed the issue from the beginning. See these previous posts for more context.
- Seattle City Council unanimously adopts income tax on high earners. And now comes the inevitable court challenge.
- Washington Research Council examines court ruling against Seattle income tax, recommends city drop appeal of decision
- King County Superior Court Judge Rejects Seattle Income Tax; The City Will Appeal the Ruling
- City finance spokeswoman: “Highly unlikely” Seattle will be collecting income taxes in 2019
- Seattle Times: Seattle should abandon costly and wrongheaded pursuit of illegal income tax