Supreme Court declines to rule on Seattle income tax

Jan 17, 2019
Written by wpengine

The Court of Appeals is expected to be the next court to rule on Seattle’s attempt to impose an income tax on wealthy residents.

That’s because the state Supreme Court last week declined Seattle’s request for an immediate ruling on an appeal of a King County Superior Court judge who tossed out the tax. The Superior Court judge ruled that Seattle lacked authority to charge the tax and added that the action violated the state constitution that bans taxes on income.

City Attorney Pete Holmes has said Seattle will continue to push for the tax at the Court of Appeals. Seattle skipped the Court of Appeals in its direct appeal to the state Supreme Court.

In the summer of 2017, the City Council unanimously adopted a 2.25 percent tax on total income above $250,000 for individuals and above $500,000 for married couples. That action prompted legal challenges based on the state constitution’s prohibition of income taxes. Read more.