Seattle Chamber Appeals City Tax Lawsuit | Washington News


SEATTLE (AP) – The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is appealing the dismissal of its lawsuit against the city’s new tax on high salaries at large corporations.

A King County judge dismissed the board’s lawsuit against the JumpStart tax last month and cited councilors who passed the measure last year to declare victory.

On Friday, the board announced an appeal to the Washington State Court of Appeals to overturn the decision, the Seattle Times reported.

The group of companies argues that JumpStart is an illegal tax on workers and their right to livelihood, while Seattle’s lawyers say the measure is a tax on employers and their business activities.

“Our success in this lawsuit was beyond doubt, given that lawmakers specifically authorized such a progressive tax to be imposed,” City Attorney Pete Holmes said last month after Judge Mary Roberts dismissed the lawsuit.

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“This is an important legal issue that needs to be resolved and that needs to be reviewed by the appeals court,” Chamber President Rachel Smith said on Friday.

The tax went into effect this year, with Mayor Jenny Durkan and the council relying on expected revenues of more than $ 200 million to fill pandemic-related gaps in Seattle’s 2021 budget and ease the burden on residents. From 2022, a large part of the money will be earmarked for affordable housing.

The measure will tax companies with annual salaries of $ 7 million or more between 0.7% and 2.4% on salaries paid to Seattle employees who earn at least $ 150,000 a year. The top rate of 2.4% that is supposed to apply to companies like Amazon taxes salaries of at least $ 400,000 for companies with annual wages of at least $ 1 billion.

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