Opinion: Battle Ground to consider local income tax ban

Jason Mercier of the Washington Policy Center discusses a resolution to be considered by members of the Battle Ground City Council that would ban a local income tax

This opinion piece was produced and first published by the Washington Policy Center. It is published here with the permission of and full attribution to the Washington Policy Center. 

Jason Mercier
Jason Mercier

Jason Mercier
Washington Policy Center 

The city of Battle Ground could soon join Spokane, Granger and Spokane Valley in banning a local income tax. At its July 19 meeting the city council will consider Resolution Number 21-07 (Regarding Opposition To A Local Income Tax On The Residents And Businesses Of The City, And Other Matters Relating Thereto.). 

Here is what Mayor Adrian E. Cortes told me about the resolution:

“There’s absolutely no reason to impose an income tax in our community. Period. This policy sends a clear message to our residents and small businesses that we’ve got your back.”

Adrian Cortes, Battle Ground mayor
Adrian Cortes, Battle Ground mayor

The resolution declares (see page 58 of council packet):

“The City Council hereby declares that the imposition of a local income tax on the businesses and residents of the City of Battle Ground is prohibited. Such a tax would be in direct conflict with the high value the City places on promoting economic development through the attraction and expansion of financially healthy, family wage-paying employers. Small businesses are the backbone of our local, regional, state, and national economy and it is imperative that the City not put unnecessary hurdles in the way of their success. As such, the Battle Ground City Council prohibits the imposition of a local income tax in the event a local income tax is determined legal and permissible by the Washington State Supreme Court or the Washington State Legislature.”

The lack of an income tax has long been advertised by the State Department of Commerce as being a “competitive advantage” for Washington. State voters have also made it consistently clear they don’t want an income tax. By affirmatively going on the record that the city will respect this message from voters by banning a local income tax, Battle Ground can continue to fully embrace and advertise that competitive advantage.

Jason Mercier is the director of the Center for Government Reform at the Washington Policy Center.

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Reggie Howell
Reggie Howell
7 days ago

I totally agree with our Mayor. There is no reason to have a income tax in Battle Ground , Clark County or Washington State for that matter. This is not Oregon. We are happy with way that are elected officials are running our local and state government. Mayor Cortez is the man for the job when it comes to running our beautiful city.

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