Tag Archives: income tax

State appeals court rules against Seattle income tax, but makes things more complicated

Today the state Court of Appeals released a decision in the appeal of the City of Seattle’s income tax. While it ultimately agreed with the King County Superior Court judge that the income tax is prohibited, it did so on a completely different basis — one that makes an appeal to the state Supreme Court inevitable but messier.

Pour yourself a stiff drink; you’re going to need it.

Continue reading State appeals court rules against Seattle income tax, but makes things more complicated

The City Council paid a lobbyist $50,000 for the income tax ordinance, and other revelations

Last year Jason Mercier, Director of the Center for Government Reform at the conservative Washington Policy Center, submitted an expansive public document request for documents and communications from Seattle officials related to the developmentĀ  of the city’s income tax ordinance. He’s been kind enough to share and discuss the resulting information-dumps with me, and the results are a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how the City Council operates.

I should state up-front: Jason and I disagree on the merits of an income tax (I’m for it), but we have a shared interest in government transparency and accountability, independent of government officials’ political leanings. The income tax legislative effort was a big, complex knot of relationships: lobbyists, legislators, attorneys, activists, and city staff — largely hidden from view. I was surprised by the extended efforts to keep communications secret, as well as who did the work and who got paid for it.

Continue reading The City Council paid a lobbyist $50,000 for the income tax ordinance, and other revelations