The Washington state Legislature approved a bill on Sunday that would enact a 7% capital gains tax, and Governor Inslee has stated he will sign it into law.
Today, Lane Powell, in partnership with the Freedom Foundation, filed a lawsuit in Douglas County on behalf of Washington citizens challenging the constitutional validity of the tax.
When asked why the suit was filed, lead attorney Scott Edwards stated, "regardless of how you feel about taxes, this tax violates the federal and state constitution and lawyers should not stand idle when they see the highest laws of the land violated by anyone – especially elected officials." Edwards, who also teaches state and local tax in the LL.M. tax program at the University of Washington School of Law, continued "this tax is even more egregious than the Seattle Income Tax [which Edwards successfully litigated two years ago], because it violates not only the state constitution but also the federal constitution."
Another Lane Powell attorney working on this matter is Callie Castillo, a former Washington State Deputy Solicitor General, who added, "the legislature should know better than to pass a law that is so obviously unconstitutional; regardless of your political orientation or whether the tax personally impacts you, it is important to stand up to object when the constitution is violated."