Washington Superior Courtroom Finds Metropolis of Seattle’s Payroll Expense Tax on Salaries Constitutional

June 8, 2021, 5:00 AM

The Washington Superior Court June 7 found the city of Seattle’s payroll expense tax on salaries constitutional. The city passed an ordinance imposing the tax on certain entities engaged in business in the city. An organization filed a motion for summary judgment, contending the tax was unconstitutional. The city asserted the tax was a constitutionally permissible excise tax on the privilege of doing business. The superior court found: 1] the city had the authority to tax business activities; 2] the payroll expense tax was a tax measured by payroll expenses and paid by businesses with employees in the city; 3] …

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