Foes of the state’s capital gains tax drop plans for the initiative

Foes of the state’s capital gains tax drop plans for the initiative

Sponsors of I-1929 say they are confident that a lawsuit challenging the tax’s legality will succeed.

By Jerry Cornfield • June 13, 2022 3:51 pm

OLYMPIA — An initiative to repeal the state’s new capital gains tax is dead for this year.

Sponsors of Initiative 1929 said on June 10 they will not proceed and will instead await the outcome of a lawsuit challenging the legality of the tax.

“While our polls show voters overwhelmingly support repealing the capital gains tax, our coalition is confident in the strength of the court case and we believe the lower court’s decision will stand on appeal. lation,” said Mark Funk, a spokesman for the political committee behind the measure. “So we believe the best coalition strategy in 2022 is to place our trust in the courts to overturn this illegal tax.”

The law in question was passed in 2021 and went into effect on January 1. It levies a capital gains tax on annual gains from the sale of long-term assets, such as stocks and bonds, for some individuals and married couples. Under the law, the state will collect 7 percent of profits above $250,000. The law contains exemptions for retirement accounts, real estate and some agricultural and small businesses.

If upheld, the law will generate an estimated $415 million for early learning and child care programs in 2023, the first year of collection.

“Poll after poll shows that Washington voters increasingly oppose tax cuts for the super-rich, especially when it means cutting hundreds of millions from our schools and daycares,” said Treasure Mackley, executive director of ‘Invest in WA Now, which helped pass the capital gains tax.

In March, Douglas County Superior Court Judge Brian Huber ruled that it is an unconstitutional income tax. The case is on appeal to the state Supreme Court, Funk said.

“In the event that the state Supreme Court’s decision allows this tax to move forward, we believe voters are ready to make their voices heard by overturning this tax on a future ballot if necessary,” Funk said.

The initiative’s fate seemed sealed even before the June 10 announcement, as sponsors never began collecting signatures. Sponsors faced a July 8 deadline to collect and deliver approximately 325,000 signatures to qualify.

“It was clear that this initiative did not have public support from the beginning,” said Tara Lee, spokeswoman for the No on 1929 campaign. successful statewide campaign. To fight this initiative, a broad coalition of workers, educators and families came together and are ready for what comes next.”

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Jennifer Ahdout

Jennifer Ahdout

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