Seattle Passes Measure To "Tax The Rich"; There's Just One Problem...

Tyler Durden's picture

After passing a $15 minimum wage intended to help low-income workers in Seattle, economists at the University of Washington produced a rather extensive research report a few weeks ago highlighting how the legislation was actually doing the exact opposite as companies were simply choosing to automate menial tasks, move businesses out of Seattle in search of more attractive wages rates or simply cutting back on employees to offset increased labor costs (we covered the study here: Seattle Min Wage Hikes Crushing The Poor: 6,700 Jobs Lost, Annual Wages Down $1,500 - UofW Study).

Unhappy with their failed experiment, the Seattle City Council decided to pursue a more direct form of income redistribution: a massive income tax on the rich.

As The Seattle Times points out, a measure passed by the Seattle City Council applies a 2.25% tax on total income above $250,000 for individuals and above $500,000 for married couples filing their taxes together.  The city estimates the tax would raise about $140 million a year and cost $10 million to $13 million to set up, plus $5 million to $6 million per year to manage and enforce.

Under the legislation sponsored by Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Kshama Sawant, money from the tax could be used by the city to lower property taxes and other regressive taxes; address homelessness; provide affordable housing, education and transit; replace federal funding lost through budget cuts; create green jobs and meet carbon-reduction goals; and administer the tax. 

According to U.S. Census Bureau data there are about 11,000 individuals in Seattle with earned annual incomes of at least $250,000 that would be impacted by the new tax.

In a statement, Mayor Ed Murray said Seattle is “challenging this state’s antiquated and unsustainable tax structure by passing a progressive income tax,” calling it a “new formula for fairness.”

Not surprisingly, Seattle's progressive protesters came out in force to fight for the new tax on millionaires, billionaires, private jet owners. 

“When we fight, we win!” they chanted with Sawant, who said more public pressure may be needed.


“If we need to pack the courts, will you be there with me?” she asked.


Karen Taylor, 34, was in the crowd holding a sign with a Seattle Times headline dating to the early 1900s: “Why don’t you come through with a little bit of the wealth Seattle has given you, rich man?”


The Judkins Park resident said she’s struggling to stay housed.


“Whoever goes against this is openly causing suffering,” she said.


And when the measure passed those same progressive protesters erupted in applause at their 'accomplishment.'


Of course, the Times also points out that there may be just a couple of 'small problems' with the new Seattle income tax...the largest being that it's likely illegal.

There are three key legal barriers, according to Mercier: The state constitution says taxes must be uniform within a class of property; a 1984 state law bars cities from taxing net income; and cities must have state authority to enact taxes.


Seattle may assert that taxing total income is different from taxing net income, while also seeking a ruling that income isn’t property.


“We are greatly disappointed,” Washington Policy Center’s president, Dann Mead Smith, said in a statement after the vote.


“As a lifelong Seattle resident, it is frustrating to see the Seattle City Council choose to waste taxpayer dollars on lawsuits for an income tax that is not needed.”


The Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Olympia, announced in a statement that the organization was prepared to challenge the tax in court — “hopefully with a coalition of other freedom-minded organizations.”


“No matter who starts out paying it, everyone will eventually suffer,” foundation CEO Tom McCabe said in the statement, warning that the tax would creep down the income ladder.

But even if Seattle does manage to implement their new "rich tax", we have a sneaking suspicion that they'll soon learn that they can't restrict people from simply moving themselves and/or their businesses to more favorable taxing jurisdictions...just ask California.

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Bill of Rights's picture

Ahh yes a regressive tax that EVERYONE will eventually pay, and it won't go away with lmao... stupid liberal CUNTS...

AVmaster's picture

I miss washington...

Till now...


sixsigma cygnusatratus's picture

Eventually this new tax will be on people who make $15/hr because anyone who makes more will have moved away.

TeamDepends's picture

How about taxing Soros, Antifagtards?

Keyser's picture

The progressives are not very progressive in their thinking, or they would have thought 2 steps ahead, realizing that those affected by this new tax will simply move... As the saying goes, you can't fix stupid... 

D Nyle's picture

They need to pass a law that all the people leaving the Libtard Hell Holes (Washington, Illinois, Cali, New York, Etc...), can only move to another Libtard Hell Hole.

Libtard are like Cockroaches, once they show up, they destroy everything (AZ, TX, Nevada, Etc..)

Stuck on Zero's picture

Old saying: "If you hike taxes on the rich, the rich take a hike."

cornflakesdisease's picture

This has worked wonders for South Carolina.  They have picked up the bulk of the rich folks and businesses moving out of the state of Conneticut.

SlowBro's picture

Taxing the rich is a fool's errand. Who do you think can hire lobbyists to influence politicians to write loopholes, or accountants to shelter assets, or lawyers to get them out of hot water, or ambassadors to get them into other countries? Certainly not the guy earning $15 an hour.

Better solutions are needed.

a Smudge by any other name's picture

I'm kinda surprised there are only 11,000 in the $250k+ category. That ain't that many.

Yeah, there really won't be any rich there soon. So I guess they can just tax each other and endlessly shuffle resources around.

Hobbleknee's picture

I bet the city council members make 250K, just under the cutoff.  Oh what a coincidence.

Ace Ventura's picture

That struck me a bit odd as well. Then I realized that most of the wealthy folks in that region probably live OUTSIDE the Seattle district borders, in swank gated communities with spectacular views. As someone mentioned elsewhere in this thread, it also wouldn't surprise me one bit if the asshat corruptocrats who endorsed this 'legislation' either structured their salary to come in 'just under' the 250k mark in BASE PAY (while quietly exempting their 'allowances' and COLAs from being taxed as income or something).......that, AND/OR these vile reptiles live in the aforementioned neighborhoods outside Seattle.

PlayMoney's picture

Add Colorado as the bastards are moving here and jacking up a cool state.

devnickle's picture

I'm in Oregon. The liberals have migrated North. They're running the Pacific northwest into the ground now. Jerry, and Kate Brown must be related. They both have the same brain disease. If they're not related, maybe they should hook-up? She could keep her name. She's an avowed switch hitter. I've had enough. Couer d'alene Idaho sounds like the promised land. Liberals taste like chikkin there I hear.....

GUS100CORRINA's picture

Seattle Passes Measure To "Tax The Rich"; There's Just One Problem... BILL GATES IS MISSING FROM THE LIST!!

My response: JUST SEIZE HALF OF BILL GATES MONEY and PAYOFF Seattle DEBT. No other TAX will be needed.

DollarMenu's picture

Bill Gates is no dummy, he does not live in Seattle but a 15 minute drive away in Bellevue, Wa.

Seattle has become so dysfunctional - they have 1 well paid, well benefitted employee for every 63 residents.

Amendment X's picture

Why are there no men in any of the photos?

OccamsCrazor's picture

Its not fair. ALL the LIBTARDS should be taxed on the left coast. Not just the rich bitches !!!

Commodore Decker's picture

Eventually, everyone will get inflated into the highest tax bracket, then everyone will pay. Idiots.

MANvsMACHINE's picture

I would like to see them do it.

nmewn's picture

The last hooray of the pedophile mayor of Seattle.

And the snowflakes go wild! ;-)

Xena fobe's picture

They do it now in California.  A 1% tax on over 1 million for mental health programs.  I have no clue if the programs  are effective.  But I know for sure lots of state employee's relatives got hired and promoted.

Folkvar's picture

Seattle will soon be another Detroit. These left wing idiots never learn. 

wisehiney's picture

Walking in the rain.

Neil Sedaka.

Gay mofo must have dreamed of washstate.

wisehiney's picture

If it does not crash too soon, they will invite coolies in to bail them out.

From the bottom and the top.

It could work.

For a while.

And that is what they always vote for.

The last flotation device.

DJZZ's picture

Rent control next up.  Their words.

DaBard51's picture

"Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that fella behind the tree!"

---attributed to Samuel Longhorn Clements (Mark Twain)(1835-1910)



When nine hundred years old you become, look this good you will not.

jughead's picture

I did my turn in elected local office back in the day...but I don't recall being suddenly rendered STUPID once elected.  Perhaps that comes with re-election?

NoWayJose's picture

If you earn over $250K a year, you can buy a cabin in the woods (outside Seattle) and claim that as your primary residence. Or even claim you live in your parent's basement - outside Seattle.

Vilfredo Pareto's picture

Yeah.  That shouldn't be too hard.   

August's picture

There is indeed a certain cachet to residing in Manhattan.

Residing within the Seattle city limits... not so much.

kommissar's picture

i live in sw wa state, and that is absolutely true.  you could even get a concealed carry permit in another county (that you claim to live in), register to vote, etc.  hell - for north of $5k/ year, it wouldn't take long to pay for an ultra-lite to fly from somewhere else in king county and land on your office building.  better than taking the crime magnet that all public transport becomes.  mercer island property values (which always have been high) are now going to skyrocket.

rrrr's picture

Cut spending.

Keyser's picture

Heresy, who will pay for the city council's lattes and junkets to LaLa Land? 

shimmy's picture

It is somewhat remarkable how dumb liberals are. 

Oldwood's picture

All ignorance requires is the closed mind. Stupidity requires the violent denial of reason and silencing of any contrary opinions. Progressivism is the USE of this ignorance and stupidity to advance is societal destruction for the advancement of tyranny. Useful idiots indeed.

Xena fobe's picture

Especially the idiotic false dichotomy of "to tax or not to tax" 

Why does everyone accept at face value that the answer to all problems is taxation?

Medical professionals try to solve problems by eliminating the cause. But that never occurs to us in the context of public finance.

Everyone argues about the wothiness of this or that project. But once the project has been agreed on, conservatives and democrats always agree tax increases are the only answer.

Ace Ventura's picture

Or my particular favorite modern lexicon:

"How will we pay for those tax cuts?!"




LeftandRightareWrong's picture

SV and IPO'ers in general will be next.

CHoward's picture

Well...this is easy.  ASSHOLES!!

coast1's picture

everyone seems to be on a path of total self destruction...the human race will become extinct, and global warming and cooling will continue for eternity. 

Oldwood's picture

How is it possible that the earth can experience global climate change if there are no progressives to document it and assign blame?

Eatabanker's picture

Why break tradition and let experience get in the way of vote cultivation under the guise of cental planning? 

LeftandRightareWrong's picture

One person, one vote.  More tax takers than tax makers.  The Rich will be the next Identity target.

Vilfredo Pareto's picture

Yeah.  This tax targeted 11000 peeps.   There are only 11000 with incomes above $250,000 per year?

devnickle's picture

Maybe they should stop writing checks they can't cash? Just an idea. That's how it works in the real world. It's called check fraud out here. Try a budget on for size.

Sir John Bagot Glubb's picture

These liberal pointy-heads running our big cities need to be deported to Antarctica and forfeit their citizenship.  If that doesn't work, there's always the Final Solution to deal with them.

LeftandRightareWrong's picture

"According to U.S. Census Bureau data there are about 11,000 individuals in Seattle with earned annual incomes of at least" ... $249,999 in 2018.

devnickle's picture

Sorry,  I donated $1 to charity. I don't qualify. 

Maximeme Q's picture

The 225k & up crowd in Seattle better realize this shit won't end with a 2.5% tax. The Marxists will come for you one day. I mean physically come for you. Bet on it. GTFO while you can.