Petition calls for taxing Olympia’s wealthiest households to create college fund

opportunity for olympia logo[via The Olympian] A petition is circulating for a new ordinance that would tax Olympia’s wealthiest households to generate college tuition money for all local high school graduates.

Backed by a volunteer group called Opportunity for Olympia, the proposal calls for creating a 1.5 percent tax on household income in excess of $200,000. Organizers estimate about 750 households in Olympia city limits would be subject to the tax, which would raise about $2.5 million a year.

The petition needs 4,702 valid signatures by June 16 to qualify for the November general election ballot. If the law passes, every public high school graduate and GED recipient living inside Olympia’s boundaries would be eligible for money to pay for the first year of tuition at any community college, or an equivalent amount can be applied to tuition at any public university in Washington.

The Seattle-based Economic Opportunity Institute has provided the blueprint for Opportunity for Olympia.

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