Judge rules ballot measure that would create city income tax in Olympia is invalid

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A Superior Court judge on Wednesday ruled that a ballot measure that would create a city income tax for higher-income residents of Olympia was invalid and would not appear on the November ballot.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Jack Nevin, presiding in a Thurston County courtroom, ruled Wednesday that the measure — which sought a 1.5 percent tax on household income in excess of $200,000 — went beyond the scope of the local initiative power.

Nevin ruled from the bench immediately after a hearing in which initiative proponents argued that the initiative qualified for the ballot and that to strike it from the ballot would disenfranchise voters who signed petitions supporting it.

The initiative sought the tax in order to raise an estimated $3 million a year for a public college tuition fund. Opponents argued that Olympia does not have the authority to adopt a new tax that is not authorized by the state Legislature.