Serving Franklin County, WA

County bans local income taxes

COLFAX — Whitman County is the most recent to join the bandwagon opposing a local income tax.

On Monday, March 21, county commissioners unanimously voted to oppose any effort to implement a local income tax within its jurisdiction.

Whitman County’s move follows similar action in 11 other counties in the state. Adjacent Lincoln, Spokane and Franklin Counties previously passed resolutions opposing any local income tax.

The growing opposition comes on the continued efforts by Western Washington Democrats and Democrat-controlled cities to implement a tax on workers’ wages.

The state Constitution prohibits income taxes in Washington. But that hasn’t stopped some governmental agencies from looking for ways around the state’s foundational document.

The Seattle City Council passed a graduated income tax in 2017, but the measure was struck down in a state appellate court in 2019 and the state Supreme Court declined to hear the measure.

The lower court ruling, however, did allow for a flat-tax on income. That issue has not been addressed by the state’s highest court. Voters have also rejected efforts to create an income tax.

Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

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Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers from Washington state to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.


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