VIDEO: City income-tax resolution gets unanimous council OK. So now what?

3:36 PM: A short time ago, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the idea of a “high-earner income tax,” co-sponsored by West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold and Council President Bruce Harrell. Since it was a resolution, not legislation, all this means is that they like the idea – nothing actually happens until and unless a bill is drafted and approved. The resolution sets a goal of making that happen by mid-summer.

If you’re interested in more information about what could and might happen, a group called Trump-Proof Seattle has a town-hall meeting this Thursday in West Seattle – not a city-convened event, but Councilmember Herbold will be there – 6 pm May 4th, at Olympic Hall on the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. That organization is proposing a tax it says would be “affecting only the wealthiest 5% of households … 1.5% on income in excess of $250K.” The council resolution expresses support of that, but city legislation has yet to be drafted, and “legal viability” is a big question. We’ll update this report later with video from this afternoon’s meeting.

3:51 PM: Video now added above.

34 Replies to "VIDEO: City income-tax resolution gets unanimous council OK. So now what?"

  • Born on Alki 59 May 1, 2017 (4:00 pm)

    Of course this passed unanimously. 

    Ed will start with the rich to push this insane idea thru, then slowly lower the wage threshold until everyone pays income tax.

    Sure glad we moved out of Seattle while we could afford to do so.

    • Mr. J May 1, 2017 (5:19 pm)

      If you’re gone why do you insist on trolling the WSB? Bye.

      This is a good idea, but I’m afraid it won’t stand a legal challenge. Income tax needs to start at the State level with a constitutional revision. Fingers crossed.

  • Chris Stripinis May 1, 2017 (4:10 pm)

    That’s great news.  If you want to support the Council to pass something this summer or want to find out more about the measure, be sure to attend the event on May 4 at South Seattle College.

  • PW May 1, 2017 (4:41 pm)

    Simply the worst City Council ever. Looking to move out of the City of Seattle as fast as I can.

    Would you like my paycheck to be direct deposited to  City’s free money  fund account for the City and Ed?

    Enough of the taxes, a new one every day.

  • Paul May 1, 2017 (4:51 pm)

    Sigh. It looks like Seattle is ramping up to test the 1930’s era WA Supreme Court ruling ( ) that affirmed income tax as unconstitutional. 

  • flimflam May 1, 2017 (4:58 pm)

    so the seattle city council can call for an income tax? for only within city limits or statewide? isn’t this a federal issue?

  • Heartless? May 1, 2017 (5:23 pm)

    Punish the rich for their success?

  • wsn00b May 1, 2017 (5:35 pm)

    It is amusing how the word income and wealth are interchangeably used and conflated. High income eventually builds wealth  but it is not the same. Taxing  wealth is different from taxing income. You really want the top 1-odd percent to pay, tax wealth, dividends and not regular income. 

    That said, I’ll be affected by this and I’m more than happy to pay this. 1.5% on the income over 250K is chump change for people making over 250K unless they’ve over-extended themselves.

    That said, what I’d like to get  in return (and this goes for the other XX% of income I pay in taxes) is detailed accountability and efficient expenditure.

    Will this make the roads in Seattle better in my lifetime? (Probably not)

    Will this eliminate homeless encampments? (Probably not)

    Or, will this just be one more drop in a leaky bucket? (Most likely this).

  • WS Taxpayer May 1, 2017 (5:58 pm)

    So when they push this new revenue plan in on the “1%” {that will most likely be 25-40% of Seattle residents] are they going to roll back the “Regressive” taxes that they keep piling on everybody…the justification for this move is one of fair and equitable taxation, so are we replacing the unfair with fair or is this just an incremental revenue stream…

    I would love to see assumptions on the cost that the City will have to bear to administer this “Idea” – the education, materials, lawyers, clerks, analysts, auditors and enforcers (and their pensions and healthcare).   I would venture a guess that the cost to administer said program prevents roll backs of any existing taxes, which means this is just a way to make government bigger!

    Either way, without accountability and efficient expenditure this is just another gallon of gas on a fire of bloated government spending.  

    Vote = NOPE

  • Steve May 1, 2017 (6:23 pm)

    Shocking!  There is more then enough revenue for the city but with horrible city government they can’t be fiscally responsible.  With the rampant waste of your tax dollars, what are you getting in return?  Only in Seattle where incompetence is rewarded and voted into office!

  • M May 1, 2017 (6:26 pm)

    I’d have no problem paying he tax if I knew it would be spent wisely. Unfortunately we know that won’t be the case. Half of the tax will go to create a city office of taxation to collect it. 

    i also object that only Seattle residents will have to pay the tax. Everyone working in the city but living outside of Seattle get to free ride on our backs. 

  • Anonymous May 1, 2017 (6:31 pm)

    Oh heck no. I already pay 33% and can’t deduct anything except for mortgage interest. Add in child care, the huge cost to own a home around here and how much is left? Plus, more workers can go remote and buy somewhere else, so there could be an impact to service/entertainment businesses in the area.

  • Villagegreen May 1, 2017 (8:35 pm)

    It’s about time. If you don’t want new taxes instituted every few years we need an income tax. The logic is pretty straightforward. 

    • Canton May 1, 2017 (8:55 pm)

      How so?. Do you believe they will abandon any of the current or new taxing schedules?

      • AMD May 1, 2017 (9:30 pm)

        Levies have sunset dates on them.  Many of the taxes you pay are only for a finite period of time (and then are renewed as needed).  So, theoretically, informed voters and taxpayers (the “informed” part is where things get sticky) who were in favor of a more progressive tax structure would first vote YES for the income tax, then let levies for programs now paid for by income tax expire instead of renewing them.

        That’s how it SHOULD work, anyway.  The point is that voters have a say in making old taxes go away too, not just voting for new ones.

  • ernieusafret May 1, 2017 (8:54 pm)



  • Josh May 1, 2017 (9:15 pm)

    Seattle is flush with money!

  • Katie May 1, 2017 (9:19 pm)

    Think of all the bus and bike lanes this will buy! 

    It’s time to get some republicans on this city council for diversity of thought.  

  • millie May 1, 2017 (10:10 pm)

    Don’t see much difference between Trump and the Seattle City Council!   Doesn’t appear, at least to me, that much research,  study of fiscal impact/actual revenues, and follow-through goes on in either location.    Which, subsequently, leads me to believe my tax dollars are being foolishly spent on an over-bloated bureaucracy (City of Seattle and DC).

    Where have the qualified and thinking (common-sense) elected officials gone?   

    Enough of lobbying by all these special interests!   What happened with doing the most good for the greatest number of citizens with the available resources?

  • WS Guy May 1, 2017 (10:18 pm)

    Nope.  Too many taxes and too much wasted money already.  This Council and Mayor are no better than thieves.

  • FreeRangeAuthor May 1, 2017 (10:28 pm)

    The Clowncil’s GREED knows no end …

  • rundmc May 2, 2017 (2:57 am)

    What everyone calling for this as a great idea on “the rich” don’t seem to understand is that EVERYONE will end up having to file additional tax forms once this is instituted. The city won’t know who makes the “threshold” and who doesn’t, so as in every state and city which has local taxes, every income earner will have to file federal, state and city tax returns no matter what you make. That means extra headaches at tax time, extra lost hours filing taxes, more personal info given to the state and city, more ways for them to come after you civilly and criminally if you don’t file or make a mistake in filing – whether you owe the local taxes or not. And for what? Unlike other cities and states, this area doesn’t have public sector revenue shortages and yet people are willing to give up even more of our privacy and personal info to soak other people they consider unworthy of their income over some arbitrary threshold.

  • Swede. May 2, 2017 (6:43 am)

    Out of all these responses only ONE (wsn00) looks to be actually affected… And he/she also pointed out the simple fact that it’s so little at that level it actually don’t matter much. 

    If you are afraid it will come down to your, lower, income in the future it will have to be voted on then to and you can do that then. 

    But no worries, it won’t go thru. 

    A: Looks like there is some thing in WA law that might get it hung up, and that will be used and take years to work out. 

    B: Lots of people nowhere close to the $250000/year break point think it will affect them and vote no. (While voting in the ‘soda tax’ that WILL cost them…)

    C: Here are way to many multi millionaires and billionaires that will buy the right people to get it scrapped or blocked in court indefinitely. 

  • Andy May 2, 2017 (8:57 am)

    NO MORE TAXES! I wish there was a way to get all of the city government on a one way flight to California. Speaking of California, I spoke with a recent refugee from California the other day, and guess what? He fled the state, but says he doesn’t mind more taxes!! I’d like to send him back along with Ed Murray, Kshama Sawant, and the rest of the city council. While I’m wishing, I’d put Dow Constantine aboard, as well. 

  • Igor Duckman May 2, 2017 (8:57 am)

    Unfortunately, “Trump-proofing” Seattle does no such thing. When Trump and his lunatics are done with their social engineering, even more thousands from the red states will flock to the West Coast cities in search of free housing, free healthcare, free welfare, etc. denied them in their hometowns. With the reverse Trump clones like Sawant and Herbold, they’ll find it here. And so we’ll continue to raise taxes on anyone that has more than 2 cents in his pocket in order to feed the infinite loop of socialist fantasy, misplaced solidarity and sense of entitlement, pardon me, “human rights” to other people’s money. But at least maybe here and there we’ll get more bicycles that no one uses because environment…

  • Huck May 2, 2017 (9:26 am)

    If it were not for all those “rich” people, most of us would not have jobs.

  • Boats May 2, 2017 (9:31 am)

    This is a great idea and it’s absurd to call it a “punishment of the rich”. Non-rich are currently, and have been, paying a higher % of their income than the rich do under our current regressive tax structure. Make the rich pay the same proportion for a change.

  • they May 2, 2017 (9:46 am)

    This can be summed up with one word.. Trojan horse, Ok two words…

  • Mr. B May 2, 2017 (6:49 pm)

    Thanks Lisa Herbold. Another waste of time instead of doing your job.  

    • tired of taxes May 2, 2017 (7:51 pm)

      I’m still not sure why people thought she’d do anything worth wild. I’m a democratic who sees the light by voting republican in future elections. Take note Lisa, more taxes voted by you will see me hitting the ground campaigning for anyone who runs against you in the next election.

  • steve May 2, 2017 (7:32 pm)

    It won’t be long until we’re all making $250k.  And a gallon of milk will be $75.   Just wait, it will be sooner than you think. Meanwhile I see my house property tax valuation went up $150k. I threw as many old tires,  and broken cars in the yard as I could, and it still went up. Go figure.

    • WSB May 2, 2017 (7:39 pm)

      I know you’re just snarking but lest anyone else not realize that … those kinds of factors/conditions aren’t what go into assessments.

  • wetone May 2, 2017 (9:21 pm)

    Our Seattle mayor 62yrs ? old makes $180k a year and claims to be worth zero. Why  would I ever trust any of his financial recommendations ?  Mayor Murray  has shown zero accountability since day one. Look how dirty this city has got since he took office, how about infrastructure improvements, not just his patchwork. Is Seattle really better off with all the big money here ? Not for most I know. Voting no for everything until I start seeing some acountability and big business paying more.

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