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Seattle's Income Tax Is Almost Certainly Illegal

Seattle's latest progressive policy is unlikely to survive.

Occupy Wall Street Protester WarmSleepy/Flickr

This week Seattle's city council passed a tax of 2.25 percent on individual incomes above $240,000, or $500,000 for joint filers. Supporters waving bright red "tax the rich" signs greeted this development with cheers. But the tax is dubious economic policy—and almost certainly illegal under Washington state law.

Jason Mercier, director of the Center for Government Reform at the Washington Policy Center, says the income tax runs up against a number of legal hurdles. "The first," he tells Reason, "is the city has to have a grant of authority from the state to impose any tax." Not only does Seattle not have that specific statutory authority, but a 1984 state statute bars any "city, county, or city-county" from "levy[ing] a tax on net income."

The tax proponents claim that the new statute taxes "total income" rather than "net income," and thereby should be allowed. Former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna and former State Supreme Court Justice Gerry L. Alexander dismissed that argument in a Seattle Times op-ed, arguing that it is "a tax's practical effect, not its label," that matters.

The tax also runs afoul of the state constitution, which declares that "all taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of property." Not one, not two, but three Washington Supreme Court decisions have declared that income is property. If income is property, and if taxes on property must be uniform, Seattle's non-uniform income tax clearly violates the constitution.

These problems do not seem to concern the Seattle City Council. When Progressive Army asked her about the legality of the new tax, Councilmember Kshama Sawant replied: "History shows that unjust laws need to be overturned and the only way to succeed is for ordinary people to build mass movements."

Sawant, a member of the Socialist Alternative Party, was elected in 2013 along with the current mayor, Ed Murray. Both have been instrumental in passing a number of prized progressive policies, including a soda tax, a $15 minimum wage, and the nation's second "secure scheduling" ordinance, which mandates that employers set their employees' schedules weeks in advance and penalizes companies for changing them.

But these progressive policies tend to have harsh regressive effects. The minimum wage will eliminate jobs, "secure scheduling" will probably bring cuts in hours, and the soda tax will raise the cost of living.

That same disregard for a law's actual consequences was at play when the city council passed its income tax. Councilmember Lisa Herbold—one of the law's sponsors—said it moved Seattle's regressive revenue system toward "tax fairness." Yet the new tax law does nothing to actually lower the burden of property and sales taxes on lowe-r and middle-income Seattleites. It just layers a new levy on top of the others.

But the new law's legal and policy problems do not seem to be important to Sawant, who touts the tax as a symbol of rising people power. "Our growing movement has now won $15 and taxing the rich," she said in a statement after the tax's passage. "We can continue organizing to win not only rent control, but a world free of exploitation and oppression."

Photo Credit: WarmSleepy/Flickr

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  • Sevo||

    "But the new law's legal and policy problems do not seem to be important to Sawant, who touts the tax as a symbol of rising people power."

    Yep, 1917 all over again.

  • The Last American Hero||

    We've already got the statue. The rail cars to the re-education camps can't be far behind.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Get on zee train, Ja.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I recall when the Berlin Wall fell, and then China went all capitalistic and while far from perfect the standard of living in both countries went up appreciably. Had the sens that the nonsense about communism was over given the failure of two grand experiments. Now enough time has lapsed that those who just won't take care of themselves can wax all poetic about how nice it would be if someone else did.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    "We can continue organizing to win not only rent control, but a world free of exploitation and oppression."

    That's quite a big jump there. I'm almost feel like a fool for not recognizing that taxing the rich and price setting were the fundamental requirements for the perfectibility of man.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

  • Rhywun||

    That reminds an awful lot of SF, where all the government offices are basically on Skid Row.

  • fish||

    Yes…I've walked past the Fecal Center in SF.

    Take you shoes off before you get back in your car!

  • fdog50||

    At least on Market Street in S. F., thee are areas where the smell of marijuana covers up the smell of feces and urine.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It makes me think of a comment I saw recently, about progressive politicians. That they concern themselves with things like managing soda consumption, and personal health, and social issues. They do not wish to focus on basic functions of government like infrastructure and government services.

  • VicRattlehead||

    well yeah, its easier to virtue signal than it is to govern

  • Paper Wasp||

    This is because proggie initiatives are rooted in hatred of the lower class. The soda tax, the "personal health" bullshit, the "subsidize fresh organic local food in food deserts", all that is a passive-aggressive way for proggies to remind those icky fat people or poor/lower-class people who eat at McDonalds or smoke that they're just not good enough without a proggie makeover.

    Can't allow school kids to wear a Confederate flag T-shirt, or dress as a geisha or mariachi musician on Halloween, or point their finger at another student and say "bang", not because those things actually do any harm, but because they signal "lower-class" to proggies, who hate the lower class. Everything proggies do is about exterminating the lower class--not by encouraging them to rise above their circumstances, but by literally banning everything that the lower class might enjoy or stand for, one by one.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Well, what do you expect from a bunch of dirty hippies?

  • Paper Wasp||

    Haaahaha: "Councilmember Larry Gossett said he didn't like the idea of power-washing the sidewalks because it brought back images of the use of hoses against civil-rights activists."

    Thanks for reminding us why the state Supreme Court might actually let this "TAX TEH RICH" scheme slide, despite the fact that it's illegal as fuck, and despite the fact that at no time during the retards' campaign for this scheme did anyone itemize what all this free money was going to be used for.

    The proponents of this scheme know that the state's Supreme Court justices are all in the pockets of unions, especially the teacher's union. They want that nice free money, and will bend that tax law into a pretzel to steal it.

  • Rhywun||

    She might be the most delusional politician in America. What an embarassment.

  • Bgoptmst||

    I hope team D runs here for higher office. Solely because I am a burn the world down sort of person, and I like popcorn.

  • Cy||

    This must be your first day.

  • BYODB||

    So the upshot of this article is that Prof. Alexander Tytler (if indeed he ever said it at all) was correct when he said the following:


    A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.


    Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.

  • The Last American Hero||

    It's more complicated than that. Seattle's natural beauty and mild climate combined with tech companies landing here by sheer dumb luck mean that you can get away with a lot of government stupidity.

    They wouldn't be pulling this shit if Microsoft and Amazon pulled up stakes and left. Boeing is already gone.

    So while things will keep rolling pretty good in Seattle for a while, a day of reckoning will come.

  • BYODB||


    So while things will keep rolling pretty good in Seattle for a while, a day of reckoning will come.

    Yes, because of the above. RE: The Tytler Cycle. I'm not saying it's 'perfect' as a theory, as a matter of fact I'd agree that it's very simplistic as outlined, but it isn't inaccurate.

  • Magnitogorsk||

    Microsoft and Amazon would never leave because the large majority of their employees (especially the god-tier geniuses who are 99% of the value in a tech company) WANT to live in a politically progressive city like Seattle. Higher taxes and silly regulations are easily worth it to not have to live among a bunch of backwards hicks that base their lives around worship of a magical Sky Wizard

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    the god-tier geniuses

    You misspelled "small-souled autistic bugmen".

  • Ride 'Em||

    But they don't live in Seattle. Gates lives in Bellevue.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    And Microsoft itself is in Redmond.

  • gah87||

    They worship GPS.

  • MarkLastname||

    You may be right. As long as the 'cultural' appeal can sustain itself, the city may keep on going, while cost of living skyrockets; as long as enough techies are willing to live like they make 40,000 a year while they make 200,000 a year, Seattle will survive. Of course all the poor and working and lower middle class people will have left. And they'll probably say 'look how high our median income is. Our leftist policies worked!"

    But if ever people should start moving to the suburbs or Microsoft stock starts to wane and they need to cut costs by outsourcing (either abroad or to saner parts of the country), then it'll be a few years until it's Detroit on the Pacific.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    As long as the 'cultural' appeal can sustain itself, the city may keep on going, while cost of living skyrockets; as long as enough techies are willing to live like they make 40,000 a year while they make 200,000 a year, Seattle will survive. Of course all the poor and working and lower middle class people will have left. And they'll probably say 'look how high our median income is. Our leftist policies worked!"

    It's like this in Colorado and California--for all of the above poster's smugness about not living with the hicks, the high cost of living also drives out the largely ethnic servant class these people rely on to clean their homes and make their food in their hipster restaurants. In the deep blue mountain towns, their workers have to commute from up to an hour by bus just to get to their jobs. Boulder is an 85% white city because their high housing costs force the poorer Hispanic workers to live in Longmont and other cities in Boulder County. Denver's mayor and press are whinging about affordable housing and gentrification after spending the last eight years celebrating the mass migration of white, childless professionals throughout the city.

    I guarantee in about 1-2 years, these people are going to wonder why no one other than single white people can afford to buy real estate in Seattle anymore.

  • Bgoptmst||

    Please refer to it as the People's Republic of Boulder in public.

    I once wanted to live in Colorado after the military. I like mountains and rivers and such. I dislike looking in the mirror and feeling loathing, so pot vacations and day hikes will have to do it for me.

  • a2plusb2||

    Response to MarkLastname. I would like to follow how the story develops. I once lived in Tukwila and worked just across the city line at Boeing Plant 2.

    What I recall from back then was that the southern part of the West Seattle neighborhood adjoined an unincorporated area officially called White Center, unofficially called 'Rat City', that was notoriously low income. Also that the nearby Seattle neighborhoods of South Park and Georgetown were, then, notoriously low income. Seattle's waste transfer station was located on the edge of South Park. Etc. I would like to hear the city debate over these proposals.

    BTW, at the time I left there was a Sierra Club president who led a campaign to defeat an mixed roads and transit infrastructure bond issue, and then led a campaign to approve a transit only bond issue. He was then elected mayor of Seattle. He opposed replacing the WA-hwy 99 viaduct with a tunnel, favoring mass transit instead. He only lasted one term in office.

  • VicRattlehead||

    well its far less silly to worship a gang of thugs apparently

  • Mark22||

    Higher taxes and silly regulations are easily worth it to not have to live among a bunch of backwards hicks that base their lives around worship of a magical Sky Wizard

    Those views tend to change when the 20-something partiers turn into 30-something parents.

    Of course, they are perfectly welcome to screw themselves and each other in Seattle any way they like. The problem is that they are trying to push this crap on the rest of the country.

  • Paper Wasp||

    Not true. An awful lot of their employees commute from outside the city. Maybe half, and Microsoft is more than half, because they're located in the burbs themselves. And with the income tax hitting households with a $250K income, more of them will move. Don't forget about the prog-elite hypocrisy factor: "I like telling everyone else what they should be doing with their money, but I'm taking my own outside the city limits."

  • Cy||

    And as usual... it'll be everyone else's fault for failure.

  • sparkstable||

    Thomas Jefferson said something like this, I believe, over 200 years ago when looking over the Constitution after its passage. Just wish I could remember where I saw it.

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: Seattle's Income Tax Is Almost Certainly Illegal
    Seattle's latest progressive policy is unlikely to survive.

    1. If this tax is implemented, one has to wonder how many people will leave Seattle, especially after the city raised the minimum wage a while ago.
    2. I don't know if the tax will be deemed illegal, but it will be judged as stupid by any sane person.
    3. I saw a picture of an elderly lady saying "tax the rich." I have a better idea. Tax progressives and socialists. I wonder how long I would live if I carried a sign saying "tax the progressives" in places like Berkeley, Seattle, Manhattan, the Hamptons, Lake Shore Drive, Bel Air or Beverly Hills.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    1. If this tax is implemented, one has to wonder how many people will leave Seattle, especially after the city raised the minimum wage a while ago.

    Hard to say. Seattle won't be the first city to levy its own income tax.

    2. I don't know if the tax will be deemed illegal, but it will be judged as stupid by any sane person.

    I doubt this will survive legal challenge. It's an income tax, and the state const. forbids municipalities levying one.

    3. I saw a picture of an elderly lady saying "tax the rich." I have a better idea. Tax progressives and socialists. I wonder how long I would live if I carried a sign saying "tax the progressives" in places like Berkeley, Seattle, Manhattan, the Hamptons, Lake Shore Drive, Bel Air or Beverly Hills.

    In Seattle, taxing progressives would be taxing the rich.

  • BYODB||


    In Seattle, taxing progressives would be taxing the rich.

    And there you have it.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I wish they could find everyone who voted and pushed for this legislation who fits within the tax bracket mentioned. I wish they could find them and then just ask them to donate the money they wish to be taxed directly the government. No law required.

  • Mark22||

    In Seattle, taxing progressives would be taxing the rich.

    The problem is that "the rich" don't care. When you have $10M+ in the bank, whether the government takes an extra 3% off your paycheck makes no difference, and if it makes they streets nicer, hey why not?

    That's why US progressives are largely either poor or rich, while the middle class has other preferences.

  • Rhywun||

    1. It will likely drive out the bottom end of the "rich", the ones will actually feel it. NYC's income tax kicks in much lower and helped to drive out most of the middle class.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I'm sure it will drive out many small businesses there.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Why not just mandate that all Seattlites are in the 1%?

    Why not just raise the minimum wage to $100/hour, and impose rent controls and other price controls that are legally permitted?

    That way every two-earner household would make enough to be in the 1%. Such a mandate might greatly increase the spending power of the average household and thereby vastly improve the Seattle economy. It would be a great experiment that could serve as an example to the rest of America.

    What could go wrong?

  • The Last American Hero||

    A local right-wing talk show host actually proposed this to Sawant. She was on board.

  • Zeb||

    I've got it!

    Raise minimum wage to $100/hr, then tax all income at 85%. Surely that will solve every problem.

  • Uncle Jay||

    "Raise minimum wage to $100/hr, then tax all income at 85%. Surely that will solve every problem."

    You sound like a selfish, self absorbed capitalist pig.
    The tax rate should always be a minimum of 95%.
    How do you live with yourself?

  • IceTrey||

    YOU'RE the capitalist! Taxation should be 100% and all necessities should be provided equally to all by the government.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If we raise minimum wage to 100/hr and rent control housing to 1000$ dollars a month (+ utilities) then everyone will not only be rich, they will have excessive capital for luxury spending which will boost the economy into the stratus.

  • Mark22||

    That Nobel Prize winner, Krugman, said so!

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Paraphrasing that show ... "In Seattle, wherever everyone is richer than average."

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Rent Control is illegal in WA. Seattle politicians complain about this frequently.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Thankfully, Spokane, and other small cities throughout WA are not a bunch of insane communists.

  • Cy||

    Yet....

    It's sad to see how much the disease has spread in Seattle in the last decade.

  • MarkLastname||

    This is, in effect, what they're doing.

    Honestly, I want them to do it. I want them to go full socialist. It'll be a great experiment. When the cost of everything goes up while shortages plague the city, it will be yet another data point against socialism.

    Sadly, since these people are both delusional and fanatical, the rich progs won't leave the city even when they're living in boxes while making 500,000 a year, and with a ll the poor people gone, leftists elsewhere will point to their 'rising incomes' as evidence that we should all imitate them.

  • Paper Wasp||

    Oh, I think the rich progs WILL leave the city. They will find other excuses for it to tell their friends ("I needed to be closer to my aging parents" or "Kayleigh-Ashton-Phineas, my super-gifted ADD autism child, needed to be nearer to a special school for stratospherically-talented autistic geniuses out in Issaquah"), but there's no such thing as a progtard who walks the walk. Their skillset is all in talking the talk.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    "...but a world free of exploitation and oppression".

    Unless you actually earned your money, in which case you are going to be exploited which I would presume would feel oppressive.

    Luckily Seattle is working hard to eliminate that class of people...

  • Sevo||

    I predict a rise in jobs paying $239,000, 'plus benefits'.

  • Fooseven||

    I haven't seen silly shit comments like this since student govt at UW Madison

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    TUMS should help with the silly shits.

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    My advice: start eating probiotic yogurt - it really helps even you out.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin||

    THEY'RE ALL GOING TO MOVE TO TEX-ASS!!! JUST WATCH THEM!

  • The Last American Hero||

    Boeing moved several years ago, slaver. And their new plants are in right to work states.

  • BYODB||

    By all means, keep it up. Texas is enjoying all this business that other states are sending our way.

  • Dillinger||

    ^^^ this.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin||

    What is the unemployment rate in Texas vs Seattle?

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    What is the unemployment rate in Texas vs Seattle?

    The same as the rate that you pay your mortgage on time.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin||

    No, really.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Since when is comparing the unemployment rate of one city versus an entire state considered a legitimate argument? Of course, if you're willing to overlook the Toltec peons in the Rio Grande Valley, just say so.

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    Of limited relevance even if we could find it. The most relevant comparison for Seattle is Seattle before a new policy and Seattle after a new policy. And the evidence isn't looking so hot

  • Robbzilla||

    Washington State: 5.2% (Dec 2016)
    Texas: 4.6% (Dec 2016)
    USA: 4.7% (December 2016)

  • DRM||

    State versus state, Washington is 5.2% versus Texas 4.6%. State flagship university city and tech hub versus state flagship university city and tech hub, Seattle is 3.1% versus Austin 2.8%. (All data as of December 2016.)

  • BYODB||

    It's also why Texas has 26,448,193 people as of 2013, outpaced only by California by a whole lot (they truly are the bizarro-world version of Texas).

    Washington state? 6,971,406

    This is interesting because there are about half their total population of unemployed people in Texas, but there are the equivalent of three and a half Washington state populations working in Texas. Even then, we're still better off with unemployment by the standard, admittedly shitty, measure.

    For giggles, I decided to look at the U-4 rate and Texas wins there too at 5.0 as opposed to Washington's 5.4 with a lower rate of worker under utilization.

    Numbers! And you're welcome.

  • MarkLastname||

    What is the cost of living in Seattle vs. the cost of living in Houston?

    Which direction are more poor people moving? Seattle to Houston or Houston to Seattle?

  • Robbzilla||

    Too bad that business includes all of those damn Yankees who want to do things like they did back in the states they ruined.

  • Cy||

    "Texas is enjoying all this business."

    No, we're not. Housing is actually becoming expensive in TX. If cost of living gets high enough, I'm going to have to move back to some place with mountains and an ocean (the gulf doesn't count.)

  • Uncle Jay||

    "THEY'RE ALL GOING TO MOVE TO TEX-ASS!!! JUST WATCH THEM!"

    Yes, they will or move to Colorado, Oklahoma or other business friendly states.
    If Seattle (and Washington State) doesn't watch it, there will be a mass migration out of the state by small business owners like there is in Illinois and California.
    Then where Seattle (and Washington State) get their money to fill their coffers?

  • sparkstable||

    The problem with this is that those exiting after the businesses leave will be the ones who wanted the tax in the first place. The initial wave of migrants from Seattle are fine. Its the socialists who leave the dead carcass they created that are the problem. I don't want them moving to my state. I want them to suffer from their own decisions rather than imposing those decisions on me next.

  • Outside the Box||

    Business are already moving out of Seattle, in a way:

    I work at Amazon, and we've recently opened up a whole flurry of offices outside of Seattle. We simply can't hire people here (or afford office space) any more, as high as our compensation has gotten the cost of living is rising faster and we've basically exhausted the population of good tech workers willing to move to Seattle. Most of our expansion is going on outside of Seattle.

  • MarkLastname||

    At this point even if they moved to California (Sacramento probably) they'd still likely be better off.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "History shows that unjust laws need to be overturned and the only way to succeed is for ordinary people to build mass movements."

    You know who else built a mass movement?

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    Jerry Morris?

  • Dillinger||

    Tchaikovsky?

  • Sevo||

    Phil Spector!

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Swiss watchmakers?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Bran makers?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Grandfather clock makers?

  • Uncle Jay||

    Ex-lax!

  • Rhywun||

  • Cynical Asshole||

  • Robert||

    Pope John 23?

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    + XXIII Arabic numerals

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I built a mass movement based on the ingestion of laxatives.

  • Robbzilla||

    Me after that all-you-can-eat taco buffet?

  • Cy||

    Oprah?

  • Crusty Juggler - Double Great||

    I'd tax her rich, if you know what I mean.

  • Dillinger||

    looks like she's been taxed pretty rich as it is.

  • chemjeff||

    a world free of exploitation and oppression

    Oh good Lord. How does one create "a world free of exploitation and oppression" without engaging in some exploitation and oppression by the state?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    a world free of exploitation and oppression."

    I do not think these words mean what she thinks they mean.

  • FireDrake||

    Step 1: Rent Control in Seattle -> Step 2: ??? -> Step 3: End worldwide oppression

    When did Seattle elect one of the Underpants Gnomes from South Park? Step 1: Steal underpants -> Step 2: ??? -> Step 3: Make Money.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    What happens when the people impacted by the tax start leaving the city? Will the socialists make that illegal? I wouldn't put it past them.

  • Unemployed Armenian Tranny||

    "Move-Out" tax in 3...2...

  • Mark22||

    Exit taxes. Socialist regimes have them at nearly 100%. The US has them at a more modest 30-40%.

    Interestingly, "progressive states" in Europe don't have exit taxes, nor do they tax expats. That's because they figured out long ago that scaring wealthy people away isn't good policy. They heavily tax their middle class instead, which is probably why their progressive programs work better than ours: the people receiving the benefits actually pay for them.

  • Sigivald||

    "We can continue organizing to win not only rent control, but a world free of exploitation and oppression."

    Because rent control will work this time!

  • Hunthjof||

    Step 1 complain about affordable housing. Step 2 Implement Rent Controls Step 3 Pat self on back for fighting for the people. Step 4 Act astonished that Rent control reduces affordable housing and causes rent controlled properties to decay. Step 5 Complain and blame greedy property owners. Step 6 return to Step 1

  • LDRider||

    I wonder what happens when they run out of rich folks.

  • Longtobefree||

    Check back in two years

  • Robbzilla||

    See: Detroit, Venezuela, Puerto Rico

  • mgseattle||

    As a long-time Seattle resident, I can testify that our City Council is certifiably nuts. Especially Sawant. And she supposedly has a degree in economics!

    Seattle has always had a "progressive" slant to its politics, but it was traditionally more in the Scandinavian mold. You know, "let's all be nice and civil to one another", "let's build some nice parks", and "let's have good schools".

    The current Council and Mayor care far more about the "homeless crisis" than they do about fixing potholes and mowing the lawns at the parks. Despite the 10s of millions of $ we've spent on that "crisis", it's just getting worse.

    Lunacy.

  • Sevo||

    "The current Council and Mayor care far more about the "homeless crisis" than they do about fixing potholes and mowing the lawns at the parks."

    Ditto SF, so they keep paying the bums more and wondering why they don't go away.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Isn't there a process in which the homeless can be converted into a substance that could be used to fill those potholes? Then everyone would win!

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    I would posit that they care less about the poor and more about extracting pounds of flesh from the rich under the guise of caring about the poor. Like the people driving the VW campers belching smog with the "Earth" stickers on the back. But more bitter.

  • Mark22||

    but it was traditionally more in the Scandinavian mold

    I'd add to that: "let the middle class pay for what the middle class uses" and "don't try to tax the rich to pay for the social welfare state because it doesn't work".

    The current Council and Mayor care far more about the "homeless crisis"

    And by "care", I assume carefully nurturing and maintaining it, right?

  • Outside the Box||

    Seattle school's stink, actually. It's the suburbs that have the good schools.

    So they aren't even getting that right.

  • Cy||

    A place that pays you not to work and you can't freeze to death? Sounds like bum paradise!

  • Tionico||

    did they not consider the surest way to evade that tax for those who decline to pay it? Simple.. more OUT of Seattle. Don't live there, don't pay taxes there.

    Stupid people. Give them five years at this pace and wel'll have a "Venezuelita" on the eastern shore of Puget's Sound. They already have a massive "homeless" population, catered to and coddled by the bleeding heart liberal socialists like the two councilcritters mentioned. Most are nutjobs anyway. Oh well, that city deserves all the trouble it gets. Lookit who they vote for.....

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Unfortunately, the idiots there punish the rest of us WA residents with their massive idiot voting block of leftists. I think only about 6% of King County voted for Trunp, so they're a strong force for the democrats at the state level. Which is why we have two of the most awful Senators in the whole country (Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell). Our governor, Jay Inslee is a huge communist piece of shit, thanks in large part to Seattle, and it's a constant battle to keep the legislature from going full retard.

    It really almost makes me wish Trump would just declare martial law on those dumbasses. Or at least force a 'illegals for progtards exchange program' on them. Letting tripe illegals stay, but deporting all the progressives in their stead.

  • MarkLastname||

    This is why, much as I love pointing to migration patterns as evidence of the stupidity of these policies (how people vote with their feet and their wallets matter more than how they vote in the booth), they kind of worry me. They're like communists who just fled Moscow but somehow manage to defend it in London.

  • Outside the Box||

    Non-Washingtonians just cannot have an appreciation for the vast, vast cultural gap that exists between West Washington and Eastern Washington. I know I didn't before I moved here, and even now, I often get weirded out when I go east of the cascades by the HUGANIC US Flags and the barely under the surface racism. Not that I'm enamored of the worst of the Seattle leftists either, but it's as if there is little middle ground in the state.

  • Cy||

    There are towns in Eastern Washington where the road signs are in Spanish. To claim that everyone is going to open their arms to a massive illegal population is naive and feeds into the bullshit narrative that it's about racism.

  • Longtobefree||

    We can continue organizing to win not only rent control, but a world free of exploitation and oppression."

    I expect those facing the illegal tax feel pretty oppressed and exploited.
    I also expect they are calling their attorneys, and a moving company.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    The Socialist Alternative Party or SAP. More than appropriate.

    Today Seattle, tomorrow the world. The world is officially headed for the crapper

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    I'm learning the fiddle for when the fires start...

  • Ride 'Em||

    Interesting that she belongs to Socialist Alternative Party. Must that the people who voted and support her are "SAPS".

  • Ride 'Em||

    Must be is what I should have written.

  • adampeart||

    You forgot the gun and ammo tax in seattle, 5 cents per round and $25 per gun sold. Of course the tax is supposed to fund "a panel of experts " to better understand how to curb gun violence. The tax raised $200k instead of the millions anticipated to pay for their buddies on the panel. After all you can drive 10 minutes out of town for your guns and ammo. What did $200k in additional revenue get them ? Lots of closed businesses. One gun retailer remains in seattle and have seen their sales plummet 60%, thus having to lay off 4 full time employees! Way to go socialist shitheads!

  • Sevo||

    Panel member #1:
    "Hey, did you know you can drive 10 minutes out of town for your guns and ammo?"
    Panel member #2:
    "Yes, but why would anyone do that?"

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Closed businesses are a feature, not a bug. They don't care about the cash, because there's always another tax to propose.

  • Agammamon||

    The tax also runs afoul of the state constitution, which declares that "all taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of property." Not one, not two, but three Washington Supreme Court decisions have declared that income is property. If income is property, and if taxes on property must be uniform, Seattle's non-uniform income tax clearly violates the constitution.

    Is this saying that Washington state has a Flat Tax then? Because if not, the I think they've already found the loophole in the state's constitution.

  • Mark22||

    Washington State has no income tax at all.

  • KerryW||

    Washington state's income tax is very flat -- it's zero :-)

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I live in WA. This crap has been tried before. The courts will strike it down. Even if those progtards wish really, really hard, it won't help.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    That's what they said about Obamacare.

  • josh||

    Even if this forces some people out of Seattle, they'll just try again wherever they move to next, like nothing ever happened.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Plenty of places to move. Municipal Seattle is a tiny part of the greater Western WA community.

  • Hunthjof||

    Then they will cry "racism" cause those mean greedy rich are taking revenues away from the poor minority community. To this day progs will never take blame for running places like Detroit or Baltimore into the ground. It wasn't there policies that did it it was the greedy racist white people who moved out to the suburbs. Why do you think progs love the pedestrian public transit lifestyle so much? The worst thing to happen to the progressive movement was the creation of the suburb and car. Before that all their dreams were coming true. But when people left for the suburbs it all went to crap.

  • Brandybuck||

    Stories like these make me glad to live in California...

  • VicRattlehead||

    And Seattle turns into Detroit in 5 years

  • IMissLiberty||

    Tax the rich to subsidize more poverty. Prosperity must be reduced at all costs! We must pay people to remain unemployed, and help them to not pay their rent. Success should be taxed at a higher rate, and failure should be rewarded with more support. Vote for me, and I will give you eternal life on easy street.

  • IMissLiberty||

    Quick! Somebody pass a law to prohibit them from defending the law in court using public funds.

  • Longtobefree||

    Yes. the tax is unconstitutional. So what?
    Asset forfeiture is unconstitutional.
    The airport strip searches are unconstitutional.
    Gun (and other weapons) rights infringement is unconstitutional.
    The Obamacare payments to insurance companies not appropriated by congress are unconstitutional.
    Etc
    Etc

  • Hank Phillips||

    Well? They asked for the initiation of force. Let 'em feel it on their hides!

  • Carter Mitchell||

    No problem. They're hitting the very people who CAN afford to move, and I'm sure many will. Same thing is happening here in Illinois. As Kshama Sawant, Lisa Herbold, and the others are proving, stupidity is no bar to holding public office.

  • Hunthjof||

    They are not stupid don't believe that for a second. They know precisely what they are doing. They know that this will do exactly that. Then like in Detroit or Baltimore will blame "white flight" or rich flight on it's failure. They know they will be able to demonize those that leave. So if it fails in that regard they will see no fallout from it. In fact it will further cement them in power as now the fight against "the man" needs to continue. How long of progs run Detroit and Baltimore? Decades yet even after those cities are nests of corruption, poverty and crime the people continue to vote for the same class of goobernuggets.

  • Cy||

    I agree. This is just another way for progressives to condense their voter base. It'll be at great cost, just not to them.

  • Outside the Box||

    Am I the only one who giggles at how close - and how far - "Sawant" is from "Savant"?

    Because that woman is certifiably insane. It boggles my mind that she got reelected.

    FWIW, I work at Amazon in Seattle... but I don't *live* there. There are many communities outside of Seattle proper that one can live in and still reasonably commute. I actually get the benefit of some of these stupid laws, e.g. Seattle passed a law that demands that employees get a certain number of sick days, so I got 3 extra days off/year, but because I don't live in Seattle, I won't have to pay this tax (not that I am actually in the 500K bracket... but the way salaries are going up in Seattle tech, *lots* of people are and it would probably only take one promotion to do so).

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