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Yakima latest Washington city to ban local capital gains taxes


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Washington Examiner

Tim Gruver, The Center Square

August 04, 2021

More Washington cities are banning local income taxes by the day with the intent of sending a clear message to their state lawmakers; they don't want them, and they're ready to take on the highest court in the state to stop them.

On Monday, Yakima City Council was the latest to join five other municipalities in the state to ban local income taxes. Officials voted ahead of the Washington Supreme Court's widely anticipated ruling on the 7% capital gains tax that state Democratic lawmakers narrowly passed earlier this year. Scholars and observers presume the capital gains tax, if ruled constitutional, could signal legal precedent for a state income tax.

In Washington, the courts have long interpreted income taxes as unconstitutional based on their consideration of income as property. The latter, which is regulated according to the Washington constitution's uniformity clause, keeps it from being collected as a graduated tax. Critics say that sounds a lot like an income tax.


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