The tax, passed by the Seattle City Council, targets high-income earners as part of what local lawmakers call “a new formula for fairness.” But critics and analysts say it was passed in defiance of state law, and the state GOP has escalated its opposition by urging residents to “forcefully resist.” “This law is unconstitutional, illegal, and against the voter’s will expressed nine times at the ballot box and it deserves nothing less than civil disobedience – that is, refusal to comply, file or pay,” the Washington State Republican Party said in a written statement.
The tax measure would require residents to pay a 2.25 percent tax if they are a single filer and make more than $250,000 annually or file jointly and make more than $500,000.
The city estimates the new tax would raise $140 million a year and cost between $10 million and $13 million to set up, plus an additional $6 million a year to enforce.
Opponents of the bill, however, argue that Seattle’s plan to tax the rich is unconstitutional, because the state of Washington imposes strict limits on taxes; prohibits taxes on net income; and requires cities to get permission to tax residents.
The conservative think tank also argued the tax is a slippery slope and could open the door to more taxes in the future.