Law Be Damned

The city of Seattle passed a law earlier this year that levied an income tax on the city’s wealthiest—all in the name of equality of outcome and so…fairness.

It turns out that tax was contrary to the State’s law, which said that only the State can levy an income tax and, explicitly, cities cannot.  The question also was raised regarding whether the Seattle law was even contrary to the State’s constitution—illegitimate—as well as illegal, but the judge avoided the constitutional question.

King County Superior Court Judge John Ruhl ruled in a Wednesday that Seattle did not have the authority to impose the tax because state law prohibits tax on net income.

Seattle’s City Attorney Pete Holmes and Mayor Tim Burgess demurred.

We are also living in a time of extreme income inequality that corrodes our social compact and causes many to wonder whether wealthy individuals are paying their fair share[.]

Because their goal is worthy, so the law should be disregarded.  And

Councilmember Kshama Sawant told Fox News in July that the need for the tax is “crystal clear.”

Again, goals, but let’s skip the inconvenience of law or of adjusting particular ones.

It just doesn’t matter what the law requires.  Never mind, either, that the State’s voters have repeatedly defeated such a tax on State referendums.  The Left demand to do what they want, when they want it, because that’s all that’s…just.

As an aside, it should be noted that Holmes and Burgess, in demanding the rich pay their fair share, carefully decline to say explicitly what level of wealth constitutes “the wealthy,” although the level is implied by the erstwhile tax’s threshold, and they carefully decline to say what that “fair share” would be: what per centage of the city’s taxes should be paid by “the wealthy,” especially in comparison with what the “fair share” of the city’s taxes paid by the various levels of the non-wealthy would be.

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