September 8, 2017

Seattle’s arbitrary and unconstitutional tax on achievement

By Seattle’s arbitrary and unconstitutional tax on achievement

PLF’s Harold Johnson hosts a discussion with PLF Senior Attorney Brian Hodges about the city of Seattle’s new money making scheme that is certain to effect all Seattle taxpayers.

The City of Seattle enacted an income tax targeting those making in excess of $250,000 per year with a 2.25% tax rate, setting a 0% rate for everyone else. Sold as a “wealth tax,” the City’s income tax aims to punish achievement and success, while threatening poor and middle class families who could fall subject to new city, county, and state taxes if Seattle’s actions go unchallenged.

In a complaint filed on behalf of several Seattle residents, PLF argues that the City knowingly violated the law and is attempting to subvert its citizens’ rights by seeking to exclude ‘income’ from the state constitutional protections for property.

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Kunath v. City of Seattle

The Washington State Constitution prohibits the government from levying an income tax on targeted segments of the population; any income tax must be uniformly applied to all citizens. Nonetheless, Seattle enacted an income tax targeting those making in excess of $250,000 per year with a 2.25% tax rate, setting a 0% rate for everyone else. Promoted as a “wealth tax,” the City’s income tax punishes achievement and success, while threatening poor and middle class families who could later fall subject to new city, county, and state taxes if Seattle’s gambit succeeds. PLF represents Seattle residents in a lawsuit challenging the city’s knowing violation of the state constitution.

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