State court grants Edmonds School District, others permission to join lawsuit defending education funding through capital gains tax

The Washington State Superior Court in Douglas County granted the Edmonds School District and parents permission to join Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson in defending $500 million per year in education funding that would be raised from a capital gains tax approved this year by the Washington State Legislature.

The cases of Clayton v. Washington and Quinn v. Washington, now joined together, are trying to eliminate $500 million per year in education funding raised from a capital gains tax on profits from stock sales exceeding $250,000. These monies fund school repair and construction and the Education Legacy Trust Account, which funds special education among other things.

The named intervenors are the Edmonds School District, East Wenatchee junior high school teacher Tammy Grubb, parent Adrienne Stuart, Pathways Enrichment Academy director Mary Curry, and the Washington Education Association.

“State funding is crucial to carrying out our mission of providing all children an excellent education,” said Dr. Gustavo Balderas, Edmonds School District Superintendent. “Edmonds provides a wide variety of programs and services that qualify for special education services, such as occupational/physical therapy, speech therapy, intensive academic support, intensive social and emotional support, and developmental kindergarten. All of these programs would benefit from additional funding, especially as Edmonds works to help students adjust to in-person schooling after the effects of the recent global pandemic.”

According to our online news partner The Seattle Times, the Freedom Foundation, working in conjunction with a Seattle law firm, filed suit in April opposing the tax. Then in May, former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna filed another lawsuit brought on behalf of several state residents, including owners of farms and manufacturing businesses, investors, and the Washington State Farm Bureau.

The funding measure adds a 7% tax on capital gains above $250,000 a year, such as profits from stocks or business sales. It would raise an estimated $445 million a year, starting in 2023, The Times reported.

The court is scheduled to address the State’s motions to dismiss and to change the venue from Douglas to Thurston County on Aug. 18 at 9:30 a.m.

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