STATEMENT: Republican budget leader has warning for taxpayers after Supreme Court backs capital-gains income tax

OLYMPIA… Sen. Lynda Wilson of Vancouver, budget leader for Senate Republicans, offered this reaction to the state Supreme Court’s ruling today that the tax on capital-gains income adopted by Democratic legislators in 2021 is constitutional.

The 7-2 decision overturns a lower-court ruling issued in March 2022 by a Douglas County Superior Court judge in the case of Quinn v. State, and sides with the appeal of that decision by the state attorney general.

“It’s disappointing that a majority of the justices went along with the Democrats’ creative argument that this is something other than an income tax. I thought the Douglas County judge got it exactly right last year in ruling this tax unconstitutional. No one else, including the Internal Revenue Service, sees the capital gains from the sale of certain assets as anything but income. Washington is a special place, but this isn’t the kind of outlier we ought to be.

“We know Democrats were hoping the court would rule in a way that would enable them to try for a full-blown income tax in our state. I don’t see how this decision gets them there, and that is a relief. But taxpayers clearly need to be on their guard – we should expect the Democrats to start adjusting the parameters of this tax so it applies to more and more people over time, which means more and more money going to government. That is not what our state needs, especially with an economic downturn on the horizon. There’s too much government greed already.”