Does Seattle have an income tax?

The Seattle city council has enacted an individual income tax on Seattle “residents.” Residents is defined as someone with a “permanent place of abode” who spends 183 days or more there, or who “domicile” there. Whether anyone will have to pay the income tax is uncertain.

The 2.25% tax would apply on Gross income over $250,000 for single filers and $500,000 for married filers starting in 2018, with collection beginning in 2019.

Washington has no state income tax. It seeks to become the first municipality to impose an income tax in a state without one. The Tax Foundation says the Seattle tax faces an “uphill legal battle” because of doubts over its constitutionality and the authority of Seattle to pass such a tax.

The Seattle mayor is reported to be “eager” to be sued over the issue.

Given the likely legal challenges to a Seattle income tax, it may be premature to start planning for it. Still, it remains an issue to be watched closely by Seattle residents.

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