City council unanimously passes Seattle income tax resolution


SEATTLE — As May Day marchers worked their way through downtown Seattle Monday, the city council unanimously supported a resolution in favor of a Seattle income tax.

“I believe there is never a wrong time to do the right thing,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, noting that some have promoted the city wait for state lawmakers to come up with other taxes to raise revenue.

The council unanimously voted in favor of the resolution. It does not make any Seattle income tax official. Rather, it expresses the council’s intent to “adopt a progressive income tax targeting high-income households.”

There have been a few recent arguments for Seattle to impose an income tax on its residents, the biggest being to “Trump-proof” Seattle. The president’s administration has made threats to cut funding to cities that do not align with his political agenda, and the resolution does note this threat as a reason to pass a Seattle income tax.

The city is fully aware that the tax will face legal challenges. But officials are prepared to defend their move in court — in fact, they expect it to go to court.

“We’re gonna really try to make this thing as strong as possible to gear up for any legal challenge in front of us,” Harrell said. “We are doing it because we think it’s the right thing to do.”