Longview City Council Passes Resolution To Ban Local Income Taxes | Government and Politics


Longview Town Hall.

Courtney talak

Longview City Council passed a preemptive resolution Thursday evening to assure residents they have no plans to create a local income tax.

The resolution proposed by Chet Makinster and Mike Wallin “prohibits the imposition of a local income tax in the event that a local income tax is determined to be lawful and permissible” by state courts or the legislature. The measure was passed without opposition by the rest of the council.

The resolution is not a response to a specific proposal, as Washington still has no statewide income tax and no city has successfully implemented one. Seattle’s attempt to tax high-income residents was rejected by the Washington State Supreme Court in 2020, though the ruling left the possibility of a lump-sum income tax on the table.

Wallin said the proposal was a reaction to concerns the state legislature might take action in the next session to make it easier for cities and counties to pass flat income taxes.

“We are trying to make our residents and our businesses understand that we expect stability,” Wallin said.

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Makinster and Wallin both said the current tax base in Longview, along with last year’s excess revenue, should be used to fund projects instead of creating a new tax. Makinster also cited the long history of voters rejecting attempts to pass a state-level income tax.

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