Bank groups sue Washington state over tax increase

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Two bank association groups have sued the Washington Department of Revenue over a measure passed by the Legislature that will soon increase business taxes on large, out-of-state financial institutions.

The Washington Bankers Association and American Bankers Association filed the lawsuit in King County Superior Court on Nov. 5. They want the court to invalidate House Bill 2167, which increases the business and occupation tax on financial institutions with an annual net income of at least $1 billion.

The tax increase, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2020, was part of lawmakers’ two-year state budget plan and affects approximately 20 institutions, all based outside of the state. The groups argue that the measure, which is expected to bring the state about $1 billion over the next 10 years, violates both the state constitution and the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.