Maude Sweetman

Maude Sweetman
Maude Sweetman (Republican) represented [the 44th] district of King County in the House of Representatives for four terms, from 1922 to 1930.

Born in 1878 in Michigan, Sweetman lived in downtown Seattle.

In her campaign for the Legislature, Sweetman pledged to free her sex from the chains of man-made laws. It was her intention to revise commmunity property law so that women would be relieved of responsibility for debts incurred solely by their husbands. She also took exception to property taxes which she felt were an unreliable source of revenue for public schools. In their place she proposed a state income tax.

In 1929, Representative Sweetman and other progressive legislators moved to eliminate constitutional barriers to the income tax. She was the prime sponsor of a proposition enacting corporate and individual income taxes, which passed both houses, and elicited an immediate veto from the governor.

Unable to override the veto, Representative Sweetman and her colleagues countered with an initiative which won overwhelming support from Washington voters, but was struck down as unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court.

--Political Pioneers, The Women Lawmakers