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taxes

A homeless encampment in Seattle's Rainier Valley, taken March 2016.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Seattle City Council members are considering a tax on big business to fund services for homelessness.

This kind of tax is often known as a “head tax” or “employee hours tax.” And it’s actually nothing new for Seattle. The city had something like it for transportation funding, until it was repealed in 2009.

Amazon.com logo
Flickr Photo/Guillermo Esteves (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke talks to Casey Coombs, reporter at the Puget Sound Business Journal, about Amazon's rapid growth over the last decade and what the company's playbook is for getting cities to offer incentives and deals to open fulfillment and data centers in their region. Coombs' reporting is a part of a series The Business Journals' have published called "The Amazon Effect: How taxpayers are funding the disruption of the U.S. economy."

President Trump and congressional Republicans have pitched their tax plan as a boost for the middle class.

"The rich will not be gaining at all with this plan," Trump told reporters during a meeting with lawmakers in mid-September.

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

President Trump and GOP congressional leaders have outlined their plan for the most sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code in more than three decades.

They're proposing deep cuts in both individual and corporate tax rates, saying that will help supercharge a slow-growing economy.

"We want tax reform that is pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family, and yes, tax reform that is pro-American," Trump said Wednesday during a rally at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

King County's juvenile court and jail are located south of Capitol Hill.
Flickr Photo/jseattle

A Washington state appeals court ruled Tuesday that King County has been improperly calculating the property taxes it’s using to fund a new courthouse and youth detention center.

It’s the latest legal ruling in the contentious battle over replacing the facility. 

The Sam Hill mansion on Capitol Hill is on the market for $15 million.
KUOW Photos/Megan Farmer

The Sam Hill mansion on Capitol Hill is the most expensive real estate listing in Seattle.

Should the owner have to pay a luxury sales tax? It's one of the big proposals in this year's Seattle mayor's race.

President Trump pitched a tax overhaul package on Wednesday in a speech that was heavy on politicking and light on the particulars.

Trump's tax policy ideas are still sketchy — when pitched in April, they amounted to one page of bullet points. In his Wednesday remarks, he didn't add much more detail beyond the broad strokes, saying he wants lower rates for the middle class, a simpler tax code, lower corporate rates and for companies to "bring back [their] money" from overseas to the U.S.

KUOW PHOTO/Megan Farmer

The mayoral race in Seattle is heating up. King County Democrats have endorsed Cary Moon, and so has today’s panelist, former mayor Mike McGinn. Labor unions have come out in support Jenny Durkan. What’s the significance of this latest round of endorsements?

The City of Seattle is going to spend at least a quarter of million dollars defending legal attacks against the high earner income tax passed by City Council on a 9-0 vote. Is it common for a local or state government agency to pass laws they know they need to spend money to defend in court?

Is Seattle becoming Amazonia? And because we're still not sick of talking about the eclipse, we ask the panel where they watched the celestial show.

Listen to the show on Fridays at noon and join the conversation on Twitter using #KUOWwir.

Seattle's gun tax needs to be higher, according to City Council candidates Jon Grant and Teresa Mosqueda.

Grant announced today that if elected he would propose doubling the tax to $50 per firearm.


Jonathan Porretta and Noelani Pantastico in George Balanchine's 'Square Dance.'
Angela Sterling/Pacific Northwest Ballet

Bill Radke speaks with Manuel Cawaling,  executive director of Youth Theatre Northwest, about why he supports a ballot imitative that would increase sales tax in King County by 0.1 percent to provide more funding for arts and culture organizations.

King County Councilmember Larry Gossett also joins the conversation to lay out why he doesn't support the new tax.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Seattle raised strong objections Tuesday at a Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C., about e-commerce taxation.

It appears one of the judges got cold feet and switched his vote -- perhaps after receiving his income tax form in the mail.
Animation by Drew Christie

Seattle officials took a big step to change Seattle's tax structure this month by passing an income tax on high earners. It’s the first income tax in Washington state.

A former state Supreme Court justice says the plan could face a tough road in the courts.

KUOW PHOTO / KATE WALTERS

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.

The King County Council decided to put a proposed property tax increase before voters this November. The levy renews funding for veterans and now also, seniors.

Kate and John Walter see themselves as victims of a housing crisis spawned by Seattle's technology boom — but they disagree whether high tech workers like them also should be the solution.

KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

Seattle's City Council votes to tax the rich, but a court battle looms.

We check in on the race to be Seattle's next mayor with just over two weeks to go before the August 1 primary.

President Trump defends his son Donald Jr. over a recently disclosed 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.

And Seattle Repertory Theater says it's working on a new musical that would bring grunge to the theater audience.

People pack city hall for a hearing on a proposed income tax
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Bill Radke talks to Seattle resident and software engineer Ashok Chandwaney about why he supports a Seattle income tax that he would eventually need to pay.

Michelle DeLappe, Seattle tax attorney with the law firm Garvey Schubert Barer, says the tax passed by the Seattle City Council is illegal and she would love to help take the case up in court. 

People pack city hall for a hearing on a proposed income tax
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Seattle's City Council has unanimously passed an income tax on high earners in the city. Next stop, court. 

The Freedom Foundation, an Olympia-based conservative think tank, is already gearing up for a legal challenge against the ordinance.  

For Tim Eyman, when it comes to initiatives it’s all about timing. And now the professional initiative promoter thinks the time is right for another version of his $30 car tabs measure. That’s because of Sound Transit 3, the voter-approved measure that has resulted in a spike in vehicle registration renewal fees.

On Wednesday at Denny Park, former Mayor Mike McGinn revealed a new tax plan in the Seattle mayor's race
KUOW Photo/David Hyde

Economic inequality is a top issue in this year's Seattle mayor’s race. On Wednesday, former Mayor Mike McGinn said he has a new tax plan to help fix that.

Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold
Flickr Photo/Seattle City Council (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/U5ehfF

By Monday, Seattle could be the first city in Washington to adopt an income tax. The Seattle City Council's finance committee has approved a tax on high earners, which would go into effect in 2019.

As campaign slogans go, it was a good one: "Keep Zombies in Washington."

And it worked in the end. The Washington Legislature late Friday voted to renew the state's film production tax breaks.

Details are emerging about the budget Washington state lawmakers plan to pass before midnight Friday. Over the next four years, schools in Washington will get more than $7 billion in additional state funds.

Much of that money will come from a hike in the state property tax.

A view of Seattle's future: Income tax and apartment construction?
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

A new poll shows the majority of Seattle residents would support a tax on the wealthy. That's one revelation in an exclusive KUOW/KING Survey USA poll.  

People pack city hall for a hearing on a proposed income tax
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Supporters of a proposed high-earners income tax packed Seattle city hall Wednesday night for a public hearing.

“Tax the Rich” was the message that was emblazoned on signs and sprinkled through testimony.

Online retailer eBay wants to stop an internet tax proposal in the Washington Legislature. To do that the company is rallying its customer base.

The Seattle City Council will likely pass an income tax in July, aimed at income above $250,000 for a single filer (above $500,000 for those filing jointly).

Bill Radke speaks with Katie Wilson of the Transit Riders Union and Trump-Proof Seattle Coalition, who supports the tax, hoping that it leads to more economic equity in the city and pays for needed services. She also believes that the 2 percent tax is nominal for citizens, though it will potentially raise $125 million.  

Also in the studio, Matt McIlwain from the Madrona Venture Group disagrees with the tax, concerned it will discourage high-earners from moving to Seattle or remaining in city limits. He also notes that while the income tax is aimed at only certain people now, history shows that taxes like this often wind up being spread to a much larger population. 

Lisa Herbold at the former Linda Manor Apartments in West Seattle’s Gatewood neighborhood.
KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

Seattle City Council members have released details of a proposed income tax on high-income residents.

The proposed legislation, released Monday, would levy a flat 2 percent tax on annual income above $250,000 for individuals and above $500,000 for couples filing joint taxes.  

Lattes themselves will not be taxed under the sweetened beverage distribution tax. However, the syrups going into them will be.
Flickr Photo/Cairns Dining

Even though it’s been days since Seattle officials passed the new soda tax, it’s unclear what specific drinks will be affected.

Specifically, lattes.


A proposal to tax sugary drinks like soda pop in Seattle passed Monday.
Flickr Photo/Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/JwCQyB

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is scheduled to sign off on a new tax for sugary drinks Tuesday. The City Council passed the bill earlier this week.


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