Budget leader not surprised by ruling against Democrats’ income tax

Sen. Lynda Wilson offers statement on ruling of Douglas County Superior Court Judge Brian Huber

Sen. Lynda Wilson, Senate Republican budget leader, offered the following statement after Douglas County Superior Court Judge Brian Huber found the state income tax on capital gains passed in 2021 violates two sections of Washington’s constitution. The majority Democrats’ tax is expected to end up before the state Supreme Court.

Sen. Lynda Wilson offers statement on ruling of Douglas County Superior Court Judge Brian Huber
Sen. Lynda Wilson

“Judge Huber’s ruling is encouraging, but not surprising. When we were battling the majority Democrats on their income tax a year ago we predicted it would fail on constitutional grounds, and we saw through their claim that it’s an excise tax. The judge agreed on all counts.

“The Democrats who support the income tax probably expected this ruling too. Remember, their end game all along has been to get this tax in front of the state Supreme Court. They’re well aware five of the nine justices were appointed by either Governor Inslee or his predecessor, so they have to be hoping the court will lean their direction.

“The income tax is even less defensible today than it was last year, when the Democrats pushed it through. The majority would be smart to work with us to repeal the income tax before this legislative session is over next week. State government is sitting on a huge surplus, so it clearly has enough revenue already.”

1 Comment

  1. pete

    Aside from the violation of the Washington Constitution, there are two problems with a tax on capital gains:

    1. there are no tax revenues if people don’t sell investments that are subject to the tax. This makes income from such taxes rather unreliable.
    2. Capital gains taxes rise and fall with the investment (stock) markets. The past decade has seen significant capital gains occur — but the outlook for the next several years is not nearly so bright. I note that California depends significantly on income taxes that rely on capital gains. Their tax revenue is subject to wild swings — and multiple times over the years have actually had to issue “warrants” (I.O.U.s) instead of paying their bills.

    Clearly, Washington’s legislature needs to closely look at what they’re spending vs. what revenues they receive. We elect our representatives to make decisions on how to live within its means — not to continually shake down the citizens for more and more tax dollars for them to squander.


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