Stokesbary introduces bill to reenact local income tax ban

Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn, has introduced legislation to reenact a decades-old ban on local income taxes.

The ban, approved 94-1 in the House and 43-5 in the Senate during the 1984 legislative session, was struck down last July by the Washington State Court of Appeals. The court ruled the law violated the single-subject rule found in Article II, Section 19 of the state Constitution, which prohibits bills from covering more than one subject.

Stokesbary's House Bill 2479 checks in at just over one page and includes one subject: “Reaffirming the prohibition of the imposition of a local income tax.”

“Thirty-six years ago in a near-unanimous vote, the Legislature clearly and plainly prohibited cities and counties from imposing a local income tax,” said Stokesbary. “House Bill 2479 is a carbon copy of the existing statute, but written in such a way as to avoid any constitutional concerns. I hope the Legislature will reaffirm to the courts and to all Washingtonians our continued belief in this policy.”

The 2020 session began Jan. 13 and is scheduled to run for 60 consecutive days.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov