Seattle approves income tax on wealthy, mayor cites Trump agenda


Expect this to be challenged in court.

And if Seattleites are so “progressive,” concerned about “equity” and justice,” and want to fight Trump’s agenda, why aren’t they coughing up their extra money in the first place?

From Fox News: Washington is one of seven states that does not have a personal income tax, but this week one of its cities approved one on just its wealthiest residents.

Late Monday the Seattle City Council voted unanimously in favor of a personal income tax on its top earning residents. Individuals with incomes in excess of $250,000 and those filing jointly with incomes in excess of $500,000 would be subject to a 2.25% tariff. People with incomes below those thresholds would not be affected.

Seattle believes the tax will raise around $140 million per year and could help close the wealth gap in the city, while the mayor also cited President Donald Trump’s economic agenda as a reason to introduce the tax.

“Seattle is challenging this state’s antiquated and unsustainable tax structure by passing a progressive income tax,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement on his website. “Our goal is to replace our regressive tax system with a new formula for fairness, while ensuring Seattle stands up to President Trump’s austere budget that cuts transportation, affordable housing, healthcare, and social services. This is a fight for economic stability, equity, and justice.

The measure was proposed earlier this year by a local activist group named Trump-Proof Seattle, according to Reuters. However, Trump-Proof Seattle’s proposal called for a more modest 1.5% tax, according to the organization’s website.

Due to the explosive growth of Seattle-based Amazon (AMZN), housing prices have skyrocketed in the area—and supporters believe the income tax could be used to expand affordable housing.

“Protecting our communities requires resources. We’re in a weak position to cope with cuts because of Washington State’s regressive tax system: lower-income households already pay high state and local taxes, and yet we can’t fund basic services like education … We can fight back by requiring the wealthiest households to pay a fairer share of taxes,” Trump-Proof Seattle’s site said.

However, critics say taxing high-earning entrepreneurs that have contributed to the entire nation’s economy will be “counter-productive.”

“You tax entrepreneurs more, you will get less entrepreneurs and less economic growth,” said Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, in an interview with FOX Business. “They will start gravitating to more business-friendly places such as Austin, Texas… high earners are [also] the most responsive to tax changes … Both the government and economy will end up losing from tax hikes as the tax base and the economy shrink.”

Despite the city’s support, the measure will likely face legal challenges. State law prohibits a city or county from taxing “net” income, though it fails to explicitly define exactly what “net” refers to.

But regardless of whether the measure is blocked in court, Seattle has been a pioneer on many progressive issues, including raising the minimum wage, and it could pave the way for other cities to enact progressive tax structures.

“I think this is part of a trend,” David Madland, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, told FOX Business. “Cities have done less of this so, I can imagine more and more cities will start to do things like this. The public is very supportive of raising taxes on the wealthy as a way to support public services.

Supporters say the tax would impact just 20,000 out of more than 660,000 Seattle residents. In addition to Washington, Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota Texas and Wyoming do not require residents to pay an income tax.


16 responses to “Seattle approves income tax on wealthy, mayor cites Trump agenda

  1. “People with incomes below those thresholds would not be affected.”

    For now. Once government invents a new tax, it has NEVER ever gone back but will only expand the tax to include more income brackets.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Any tax imposed will affect everybody. Those that are making the big bucks are the business owners and entrepreneurs and as such will merely pass to cost of paying the tax onto those that purchase their goods or services. The one’s that can’t will simply leave. Either way the rich will remain rich. The poor will remain poor. And the ruling class will claim success so that they can continue to be re-elected. And once they are, they’ll create more problems that they can ‘solve’. Taxes aren’t a necessary evil. They are just evil.

    Liked by 2 people

    • YouKnowWho . . . . . Amen and Amen! It’s unbelievable that city councils just do not comprehend the fact that this is counter-productive. Would it not be better to push poor people to gain better educations to make themselves ready and able to step into jobs where they can live above the poverty level? Why is the only solution the solution where we tear down the person who has risked capital to really make it in this world?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like Seattle needs an activist group named Ed Murray-Proof Seattle.

    There’s still plenty room in Texas!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Left/liberal progressives, as usual…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Kevin J Lankford

    Just fine, that is, if they adhere to the real definition of “income” and not do as federal and all other state revenue agencies do and claim wages are the same thing as income.

    Claiming the authority to tax ones wages is the same as claiming the ownership of all labor, which is the definition of “slavery”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin . . . You have really named what this is all about. When any government can confiscate your “labor” which you use to earn cash . . . then you really are in slavery.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Unlike the rest of us, rich people have advisors that help “shelter” their investments and income. Worked at an accountants office once, a woman who sold real estate in excess of 1M demanded the accountant make certain she paid no tax. Her taxable income at the end of that year: $14,000.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can blame those who make the tax laws and loopholes that create situations such as you have just cited. So many in Washington, D.C. have written into tax law all these ways whereby they and their cronies can get away by not paying the taxes than John Q Public is subject to paying.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, this should go over like a lead balloon. You are either a personal tax free state or not. You can’t pick and chose and penalize one group because of your mishandling of funds.
    And to blame it on Trump’s cutbacks is a cheap hit. If and when they admit it, the cutbacks will rule out the waste and only those truly deserving will received help……unless they have other nefarious plans.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This worked SOOO well in Connecticut, that there has been a mass exodus for years, leaving the state drowning in debt with no way to generate money.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. So, when you increase the minimum wage, magically all problems solved, right? WRONG. Businesses simply increase prices, inflation eats away at any ‘savings’ you may have and you’re even worse off than before. Until people start getting manufacturing of goods back to the USA, there will only be low paying ‘service’ jobs.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good news: King County court rules against Seattle income tax. (Course I’m sure the city will take it to the state court.)

    Liked by 1 person

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