The Seattle City moved closer to passing an income tax on higher earners when its finance committee voted Wednesday to send the measure on to the full council next week.

“This is a step toward a fairer tax system," Councilmember Tim Burgess, the committee chair, said in a statement.

The bill would levy a two percent tax on individuals in Seattle making more than $250,000 a year and couples making more than $500,000 a year.

"In Washington, our lowest-income households pay approximately 16.8 percent of their income on state and local taxes. Our wealthiest neighbors pay just 2.4 percent," Burgess said.

He says the city will use the tax proceeds to pay for essential services and to lower property taxes.

The full council votes July 10.

The proposal has the support of the mayor and the council, but it would likely be challenged in court if it's approved. A 1984 state law prohibits counties and cities from taxing net income.