Puget Sound Business Journal
By Ashley Stewart
July 24, 2017
Seattle venture capitalist Matt McIlwain is leading a group to fund a legal challenge to the city’s new income tax on the wealthy.
The group, a nonprofit called the Opportunity for All Coalition, argues Seattle’s income tax is illegal, unnecessary and will eventually expand to all cities for all income levels.
Former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna is running the group’s legal operation.
“The Opportunity for All Coalition is a broad and nonpartisan group of citizens concerned about the illegal Seattle income tax,” McIlwain, a Madrona Venture Group managing director, told the Business Journal in an email. “We don’t believe it is in the best interest of Seattleites and we’re confident it would limit opportunities for job creation, economic growth and even total tax revenues over time.”
The ordinance, passed earlier this month, enacts a 2.25 percent tax on every dollar a resident earns above $250,000 for individuals, or $500,000 for married couples who file joint tax returns. If an individual Seattle resident earns $300,000, for example, $50,000 would be taxed and the city would collect $1,125.
The new income tax could raise as much as $140 million, according to the city’s most recent estimate. McIlwain’s group contends the tax is “unnecessary given over $10 billion in new tax revenue already and more coming,” the website said.
A legal challenge will likely ask a court whether the tax violates several state and city laws.