There are always a few items we’ve read during the week that deserve more attention but don’t make it into our regular posts. So we bundle them for the Friday roundup.
Here’s this week’s bundle:
Washington Research Council: The AG on potential additional McCleary sanctions
Shut down the schools. The AG notes that Superintendent Dorn cites New Jersey as an example of a “successful” model of this option. Indeed, “The schools were closed, the legislature enacted a new income tax, and the schools were reopened after eight days.” But, as the AG describes, it did not end there — more than 40 years later, litigation in the case is still ongoing.
Closing down the schools in the summer of 1976 did prompt the New Jersey legislature to enact a new tax. It did not result in full funding of the educational reforms ordered by the court or in the cessation of litigation.
Washington state’s tech sector is adding roughly 3,500 new jobs each year that require a computer science degree — but the state only graduates 500 students annually with those skills and education, according to the Washington Technology Industry Association.
This month, North Seattle College is taking a small step toward helping meet that demand with its first graduating class to earn a Bachelor of Applied Science in Application Development.
The Olympian: Education income tax is costly, flawed
The Economic Opportunity Institute and local advocates are gathering signatures to put an initiative on the fall ballot to levy a 1.5 percent tax on households with incomes over $200,000. The estimated $2.5 million this might generate would be used to fund one year of community college tuition for all Olympia high school graduates or GED earners.
That may be an appealing idea at first blush…But when you learn more, the idea withers.
A new tax based on how much people drive could be among the transportation funding ideas lawmakers consider in 2017, according to a member of the task force exploring the idea.
The Oregon Department of Transportation launched a pilot project last July to test the pay-by-the-mile tax. Vicki Berger, a former Republican representative from Salem and member of the task force, said the state needs new revenue to supplement or replace the gas tax because drivers are paying less as cars become more fuel-efficient.
The Olympian: Olympia city council delays action on income tax
The fate of two income tax proposals continues to hang in limbo after the Olympia City Council postponed a decision to support one or the other…
According to the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, City Manager Steve Hall was expected to recommend that the council forgo its proposed income tax ordinance and instead allow the petition by Opportunity for Olympia to proceed to the November ballot.
…Instead, the council removed that item from the agenda and postponed discussion for a future meeting. City staff still awaits council direction on the next steps to take, said Hall, noting that the agenda item could come before the council July 12, 19 or 26.