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Will Seattle finally have an income tax?

On Monday the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a resolution to pursue an income tax on the richest households. This is the first step towards Seattle passing an ordinance that would impose a 1.5 percent tax on the incomes of those making over $250,000 a year.

Proponents say it could raise $125 million a year. But critics, including the Seattle Times Editorial Board said last week that this move hurts more than helps the city’s cause. 

We invited guests on both sides of the issue to discuss if this is the path to equality or an unenforced error. 

Seattle Times writer Brier Dudley:

  • This is a pandering measure that is risking state-level progressive taxation.
  • The city has more money than it can spend.
  • There should be a greater focus on relieving tax burdens on the poor instead of focusing on more taxes. 

Economic Opportunity Institute's John Burbank:

  • Seattle has an "upside down" tax system that benefits the rich.
  • There are multiple services that will require funding in the near future, including universal pre-K. 
  • Plenty of established law has been reversed and the state Supreme Court may find a ruling from the 1930s to no longer be relevant. 

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