“From the start, this case has been about the Legislature trying to get around the Washington Constitution by putting a phony label on its product,” said Eric Stahlfeld, Freedom Foundation Chief Litigation Counsel.
“A tax on income doesn’t become an excise tax just because you change its name. The hearing today exposed in stark terms the game the authors of this tax are trying to play with the law, but their arguments gave the justices no reason whatsoever to treat this scheme any differently than the courts have for 100 years.”
“After today’s hearing before the Washington State Supreme Court, we are optimistic the Court will uphold Judge Huber’s original lower court ruling which clearly found the capital gains tax unconstitutional,” concluded Stahlfeld. “A number of justices were skeptical they should overturn nearly a century of precedent that income is property, and that Washington’s constitution requires taxes on property to be uniform, which this tax is not.”