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taxes

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday rolled out his proposal for an update to the state’s two-year, $43 billion budget. Here are the top five items on the governor’s budget wish list:

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is moving close to victory. After a frustrating year in which Republicans who control Congress failed to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act, Congress is moving closer to approving its first major legislation of 2017.

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

A judge in King County has struck down Seattle's new income tax on higher earners.

It's the first ruling in a case that's expected to go all the way to the State Supreme Court.

Tents are shown as people gathered to protest the sweeps of homeless camps in November, 2017, at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle's City Council wants to bring back its "head tax" proposal — and soon. The idea is to tax the city's largest businesses based on their number of employees.

Senate Republicans hope to vote after Thanksgiving on a sweeping tax overhaul plan that they say will cut taxes for nearly every individual and family in America. The bill calls for those cuts to last only for the next eight years, unless history is a guide.

Documentary filmmaker Christopher Rufo doesn't make enough money to have to pay Seattle's new high-earners tax, but he still wants to keep Seattle income-tax-free. So much so, he joined around 30 plaintiffs suing the city.

So, $1.4 trillion is a lot of money. It's what all of the NFL teams together are worth, and then some. It's more than twice the Defense Department's 2016 budget. It's enough to buy nearly 3.2 million homes at the median U.S. home price right now.

Republicans in Congress say cutting corporate taxes would improve the balance sheet for U.S. businesses, giving them more money to spend on jobs and investment.

But how does anyone know that's what will happen?

It's the question at the heart of the debate taking place on Capitol Hill right now about whether to lower corporate taxes, and by how much.

Councilmember Tim Burgess speaks after accepting a nomination from council member Lorena Gonzalez to become the intern mayor of Seattle, during a city council meeting on Monday, September 18, 2017, at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle mayor Tim Burgess is speaking out against a proposed business tax that would raise extra funds to combat homelessness.

City council members are considering including the tax, known as an ‘employee hours tax’ or a ‘head tax’, in the 2018 budget.

But Burgess said this week that would be a mistake.

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks with Mark Hallenbeck about a pay-by-mile approach to funding roads and bridges in Washington. The state is rolling out a pilot program in January where drivers would pay taxes on the miles they drive, instead of the gas they purchase.

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.

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