Washington officials say no state income tax is competitive advantage

Nov 1, 2017

With the City of Seattle's illegal income tax facing a November 17 trial date, what do state officials say about Washington's lack of an income tax? Consider the following from the recent 522 page pitch made to Amazon for why its HQ2 should be located in the Puget Sound:

  • "Business-friendly environment - No personal income tax." (pg 9)
  • The stable and business-friendly environment is a major asset to companies in the Puget Sound region . . . Additionally, the region has a favorable tax structure (e.g., no personal income tax, cap on property tax growth)" (pg 68)
  • "Washington is one of just seven states without personal income tax, increasing effective take home pay, making it easier to attract talent to the region. The state also limits increases in property tax to 1% annually, keeping property tax growth at a lower rate than inflation." (pg 69)
  • "At the state level, Washington State does not levy corporate or personal income tax." (pg 199) 
  • "Seattle-King County is a global center, where businesses large and small thrive by turning great ideas into world-changing companies. Our advantages include . . . No personal income tax, no tax on interest, dividends or capital gains, and low corporate taxes." (pg 429)

The fact that the lack of a state income tax features so prominently in marketing efforts is no surprise considering the Washington Department of Commerce for years has made this a major selling point for its "Choose Washington" campaign

"We offer businesses some competitive advantages found in few other states. This includes no personal or corporate income tax."

Assuming Washington judges continue to uphold nearly a century of caselaw and don't substitute their judgment for that of the people, Seattle's illegal income tax will quickly be invalidated and Washington will continue to maintain the "competitive advantage" of being a non-income tax state. 

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