The Freedom Foundation is suing the city of Seattle over a new tax passed by the City Council targeting high-income residents. While the council calls its initiative a “new formula for fairness,” the conservative think tank says it’s an illegal scam that sets a disturbing precedent. The new measure is aimed at those who make more than $250,000 a year ($500,000 for married couples), slapping them with a 2.25% tax.
“This is clearly bad policy and illegal, but it’s also an assault on the rule of law,” David Dewhirst, a lawyer for the Freedom Foundation, said in a statement to Fox News. “If they can get away with it this time, where does it stop?”
The Freedom Foundation’s lawsuit argues that the tax violates the Washington state constitution, which prohibits taxes on net income and requires cities to get state permission before levying new taxes on their residents.
“This tax ordinance’s legal and constitutional infirmities are patently obvious,” Dewhirst argued. “That’s what makes this whole thing so chilling. This law can only survive if the courts abandon decades of precedent – precedent grounded in Washington’s fundamental commitment to legal equality.”
Of course, the Democrats have another story to tell, and if you think there’s no way they could possibly connect a city tax on the rich to Donald Trump…well, you just don’t know today’s liberals.
The goal of the tax, said Mayor Ed Murray, “is to replace our regressive tax system with a new formula for fairness while ensuring Seattle stands up to President Trump’s austere budget that cuts transportation, affordable housing, healthcare and social services.”
This is a shaky time for Seattle to be testing the job creators in their own city. While liberals forecast that the new tax will bring in an additional $140 million for the city, that assumes that many small businesses will not simply find somewhere else to ply their trade. They are, after all, already facing the deleterious effects of another misguided liberal law: A new $15 minimum wage. And according to a recent study by the University of Washington, that wage has only hurt the very people it was intended to help by slashing the amount of hours worked by low-income Seattle employees. Overall, the average employee making minimum wage is now bringing home roughly $125 less per month than they were before the hike.
One can only imagine how much “good” Seattle’s new regressive tax system will do.