First lawsuit filed against Seattle's income tax on high earners | KUOW News and Information

First lawsuit filed against Seattle's income tax on high earners

Jul 21, 2017

The first lawsuit over Seattle's new income tax on high earners has been filed. The city is being sued by Michael Kunath in King County Superior Court.

He and his attorney didn't immediately respond to interview requests, but according to court filings, Kunath argues that Seattle's new income tax on high earners violates the state constitution. That's because the constitution says cities cannot impose a net income tax.

Also, Seattle's new tax only affects individuals who make more than $250,000 a year. Kunath says that also is unconstitutional; his complaint points out that the state constitution says that income is property, and that property has to be taxed at the same rate.

The city attorney's office says they can't comment on pending litigation. But city officials have said that they've been expecting lawsuits and they drafted the language behind the tax in way that would let them defend it in court. The city received the suit on Monday, July 17, and has 20 days to formally respond.