McKenna on KIRO: Olympia can stop Seattle’s head tax

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about Seattle’s authority to levy a head tax, or employee tax. When the Legislature reconvenes, state Sen. Mark Schoesler (R-Ritzville) says he will introduce a bill that explicitly prevents cities and counties from levying head taxes.

Dave Ross: “So there’s nothing against the law about it as passed…but as you say you could pass a law to prevent it.”

Rob McKenna: “Right, because the city’s taxing authority, as Sen. Schoesler observes, all comes from the state. Counties and cities have no taxing authority not given to them by the state government – so the state can taketh away just as it giveth, and he’s threatening to do that in this case.

“His rationale is that this head tax in Seattle will create a negative perception of Washington state as a whole as being unfriendly to business.”

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