Judge rules against Seattle income tax on high earners

SEATTLE (AP) - A judge has ruled against a new income tax on wealthy Seattle residents.

King County Superior Court Judge John Ruhl said in a ruling Wednesday that the tax is prohibited by state law. He declined to address whether the tax is constitutional.

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously in July to impose a 2.25 percent tax on the city's highest earners, saying they wanted to test the legality of an income tax in Washington state to help pay for crucial city needs.

Under the ordinance, residents would pay a 2.25 percent tax on income in excess of $250,000 for individuals and in excess of $500,000 for married couples who file taxes jointly.

Wednesday's ruling applies to several lawsuits filed by Seattle residents to challenge the ordinance.

Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess said Wednesday that the city will appeal.

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