Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to answer your interesting question.
Washington State has a long history of resisting the collection of
personal income tax and support for that resistence by the state's
Supreme Court. From the beginning taxes in Washington was a sore spot
of discussion and debate:
From 1861 to 1873 income tax was a matter of voluntary compliance.
In 1894 a federal income tax was reintroduced as part of the tariff
bill and was viewed largely as a "rich man's" tax. In April 1895 the
Supreme Court intervened and effectively stopped the tax before it
even got started.
In 1929 a state income tax bill passed the Senate died in the House.
Rural Senators lauded the bill but the majority was made up of urban
legislators who favored a sales tax.
Washington voters did manage to approve an income tax in 1932 by way
of ?Initiative 69? and the Legislature approved a second in
1935.largely with the backing of lobbyists who spoke for farmer as a
way of avoiding high property taxes. Both laws were struck down by the
state Supreme Court who rejected the personal income tax, arguing that
it violated provisions of the federal or state constitution. The court
held that Washington's constitution required a "uniform and equal rate
of assessment and taxation on all property in the state, according to
its value in money." So, an income tax based on how much one earns, it
said, violated this uniformity clause.
Income tax proponents tried again in 1935, 1936 and 1938 but it wasn?t
until 1951 that anything of substance happened. In a budget
compromise, a 4% corporate income tax passed through the legislature
but, like it had three other times, the Washington Supreme Court
Constitutional amendments and other attempt to initiate a Washington
tax were resoundingly defeated in 1970, 1973 and 1975 and the rest is
You will find everything you ever want to know about Washington?s
strange history on taxation using the links I have provided below.
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Tutuzdad ? Google Answers Researcher
OTHER INFORMATION SOURCES
A PENNY FOR THE GOVERNOR, A DOLLAR FOR UNCLE SAM: INCOME TAXATION IN WASHINGTON
REGION HAS AN UNUSUAL TAX HISTORY
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