This afternoon voted to adopt a resolution that affirms the city’s intent to “begin consideration of a progressive income tax ordinance by May 31, 2017, with the goal of Full Council passage by July 10, 2017.”
After doing a bit of last-minute minor wordsmithing in an amendment, the resolution passed by an 8-0 vote (Council member Juarez was absent due to a family emergency).
As I wrote last week, the hard work now begins. Implementing and enforcing an income tax, in the absence of county or state infrastructure to support it, is far too complicated to be fully worked out by the Council’s self-imposed deadline of mid-July. That points to the true purpose of the effort at this point: to provide a strong vehicle for a legal challenge to the state’s statutory and constitutional barriers to imposing an income tax. The city’s tax ordinance will inevitably be tied up in courts for several years, so in practice they have plenty of time to sort out administration and enforcement. The immediate work is to choose the form and parameters of a tax that has the best chance of surviving legal challenge
Council member Sawant said today that her office is already working on drafting the tax ordinance.