When the tax was proposed, the city’s budget office estimated it would raise $300,000 to $500,000 a year.
Seattle’s tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition raised less than $200,000 during its first year, according to Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess.
The city had previously kept the revenue information confidential to protect taxpayers’ privacy, as reported in a recent Seattle Times story.
In an email sent to The Times Tuesday, Burgess wrote:
“City and state laws prohibit the city from releasing specific tax information when such information is likely to identify specific taxpayers. In this context, we can report that there were approximately 15 potential firearm and ammunition taxpayers in the city for 2016. During its first year, the firearms and ammunition tax payments received by the City were less than $200,000.”
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The city is using the tax to support gun-violence research at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. But the city isn’t spending the money until a 2015 lawsuit challenging the tax is resolved.
Burgess spearheaded the tax, which was adopted by the council in 2015 and took effect Jan. 1, 2016.
When Burgess proposed the tax, he said the city’s budget office had estimated it would raise $300,000 to $500,000 a year.
Though the money from the tax isn’t being used, the research it’s intended to pay for is moving ahead, with $275,000 that the council allocated for 2016 and 2017 coming out of the city’s general fund.