Washington GOPs are asking Seattle residents to refuse to pay an income tax which its critics claim is illegal. The newly minted income tax targets the high-income earners. It was passed by Seattle City Council. Local lawmakers have described the taxation as a new fairness formula.
The new tax
The new tax will require the Seattle city residents to cough up a 2.25 percent tax. This percentage is applicable if the tax giver is a single filer and earns about $250,000 every year or more. If filing jointly, the threshold amount comes to $500,000. Ed Murray, the Mayor of Seattle, said that the city administration's aim is to substitute the existing regressive tax system. It will be replaced with a brand-new formula which will uphold fairness. This new tax will oppose the Republican administration's austere budget. The latter cuts a slew of social services, healthcare, transportation, and affordable housing. The Mayor belongs to the Democrats.
As per Seattle city estimates, this new tax will collect about $140 million every year. It will cost anywhere from $10 million to $13 million plus an extra six million dollars every year to enforce this legislation. The collected money will be spent towards affordable housing projects. It will also be paid towards other services for the lower paid workers.
Tax analysts and critics have disparaged the move, citing it as an example of Seattle city defying state law. The local Republican Party has increased its opposition. It is openly urging the people of the city to forcefully resist such a move. In its written statement, the Republican chapter of Washington state said that the law breaks the US Constitution, and is illegal. It also goes against the will of the voter; the voters have expressed their wish a total of nine times at the ballot box. For this, civil disobedience against the existing city administration is fair game.
The bill's opponents have put forward the argument that the plan formulated by Seattle city to tax the prosperous is an unconstitutional one. This is as Washington state has put in place strict restrictions on taxes. The state forbids taxes on the net income. It also needs the cities to get its permission if they want to tax the residents. Seattle's new tax seems to fail all such mandates.
Democrat Seattle council members are not backing down. They have hunkered down on their tax positions and are preparing for a costly legal fight.