(Center Square) – The Washington Educational Association submitted a file Brief With the state Supreme Court demanding that the door be opened to the imposition of a graduated income tax without constitutional amendment or voter consent.
This summary relates to Douglas County Superior Court Judge Brian Hooper’s March 1 ruling that last year’s capital gains tax, Senate Bill 5096, is unconstitutional Graduated income tax. This legislation established a 7% tax on profits from sales of assets, such as stocks and bonds, above $250,000.
Huber sided with the plaintiffs in supporting their definition of capital gains as income.
The constitutionality of a tax depends on whether it is described as an income tax or an excise tax.
Since then, Attorney General Bob Ferguson has asked the Supreme Court to consider the case upon direct review.
The constitution defines property as “everything.” . . Subject to ownership “does not answer the relevant question, but simply ask: Is income subject to ownership?” The WEA Brief is due on April 11th. “The nature of income is not the nature of a fixed asset subject to ownership that can be held or sold, such as land (physical property) or stocks and bonds (intangible property). Rather, income is better described as moving money, which is an unfeasible expectation. Transferable is earned either from the time of business or as a result of a business and is taxed accordingly.”
In short, the WEA requires a court to judge people not to have their own income.
The summary goes on to say, “If this court rules ESSB 5096 to charge income tax, it should be reconsidered Coleton and offspring. ”
The state constitution provides for any property tax to be levied in a uniform manner. In 1933 cases Coleton vs. ChaseThe Supreme Court struck down a progressive, voter-approved income tax meant to pay for education. The court held in its decision that a person had an ownership interest in his wages, setting the precedent that any income tax imposed by the state should apply to everyone equally.
Since then, the court has consistently ruled that the income is property.
Later Washington voters also participated, naysayers Six constitutional amendments permitting a progressive income tax, as well as four income tax initiatives.
In its brief, the WEA is appealing to the Supreme Court for direct review of the case, citing the state’s highest judicial body as the only institution able to provide a prompt and decisive solution.
“Only this court can provide a timely and final resolution of the issues surrounding ESSB 5096 that are needed to provide clear guidance to individual taxpayers subject to capital gains tax and to facilitate the planning and budgeting process in the state,” according to the brief. “A provisional trip to the Court of Appeals cannot provide a final decision on these questions. Furthermore, the delay caused by the decision to refer this case to the lower Court of Appeals will result in prolonged uncertainty regarding the constitutional status of ESSB 5096.”
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the direct review in October or November.