This week, the lawyer who called Seattle's income tax defense "the biggest bunch of legal malarky that I’ve ever heard" jumped at the chance to put new mayor Jenny Durkan on the spot about the tax case. He didn't get the answer he was looking for.
A King County Superior Court judge ruled against Seattle's new high earner income tax last week. That ruling was unsurprising, considering that supporters of the tax have argue their goal is to end up at the Washington State Supreme Court. There, they hope the court will overturn its past precedent on income taxes.
When the Seattle Times put out its call for questions for its live Q&A with Durkan, Matthew Davis, the lawyer for one of the plaintiffs challenging the tax, responded. He asked about Durkan's position on the appeal, which he called "pointless and a waste of another million dollars."
Durkan said she supports appealing the decision.
"I think it should be appealed because I think that a Superior Court judge is never in the position to really decide what the law for the whole state should be," Durkan said. Later, she added "Right now, my sense is this is a decision that has to be appealed."
Durkan said the Supreme Court's recent ruling in favor of Seattle's tax on ammunition "led me to believe that there could be a softening of what the Supreme Court's view is on cities’ ability to levy taxes."
Durkan said she plans to meet with City Attorney Pete Holmes to discuss the case.
Afterward, Davis fired off an email to reporters. "Now Durkan is spouting malarkey," he wrote. "'Yeah, it is a longshot and we will most likely lose, but I think we should appeal?' And she was a United States Attorney."
The city has about three weeks left to file its appeal.