November 18, 2017

“In a Warm-up for the Real Fight, Lawyers Argue about City Income Tax”

From Crosscut, 11/17/17

“Seattle’s new income tax has always been headed toward the Washington Supreme Court. But to get there, it had to start somewhere. That somewhere was King County Superior Court, where lawyers squared off Friday in a hearing on the city ordinance.

In order to defend the lawsuit, Seattle and the EOI must successfully argue why the 1930s Supreme Court decision should not apply as well as explain away a 1984 state law forbidding taxes on “net income.”

To do so, [Pacifica partner Paul] Lawrence, an outside attorney hired by the City Attorney’s Office, and attorney Knoll Lowney, representing the EOI, leaned on what, to the outsider, could be seen as semantics: the definition of “net” income, whether the new ordinance was in fact an “income tax,” whether the 1984 ordinance was constitutional in the first place and the basis on which the Supreme Court’s 1930s decision stood.”

Read the full Crosscut article>