Gov. Jay Inslee signs the first bill of the 2020 legislative session into law. On the right stands the bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, who is wearing a red tie. Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service

Gov. Jay Inslee signs the first bill of the 2020 legislative session into law. On the right stands the bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, who is wearing a red tie. Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service

Gov. Inslee signs tax bill to help fund higher education

Law shifts a portion of the tax burden to large tech companies.

By Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service

Fewer businesses will be asked to foot the bill for higher education programs after Gov. Jay Inslee signed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6492 on Feb. 10.

The bill will restructure the business and occupation tax (B&O tax) and surcharges put in place by legislation passed last year to fund investments in public colleges as well as to provide grants that increase access for low- and medium-income students.

“We are going to make massive investments in public higher ed,” said Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle. “Both for the institutions and, more importantly, for the students who need access to these services.”

Legislation signed last year and put into effect this year stipulated that on top of the B&O tax rate, certain businesses would also pay a Workforce Education Investment Surcharge.

Pedersen, the new bill’s prime sponsor, said he and his colleagues realized the demand for higher education programs was much higher than revenues called for in last year’s legislation.

Senate Ways and Means Committee staff member Jeff Mitchell said the tax rate that took effect in January was estimated to have generated $773 million in revenue over four years, while this year’s adjustment is estimated to bring in over $1 billion during the same timespan.

Pederson said this new legislation will be “simpler to administer, more predictable and sufficient to meet the needs of the state.”

He said the new surcharge will affect less than 15,000 businesses and applies only to those defined as “advanced computing” companies, such as Microsoft or Amazon. The earlier legislation affected more than 80,000 companies.

Advanced computing companies are defined as firms that make computer software or hardware, provide cloud computing services, manage online marketplaces, or manage online social networking platforms.

Pedersen said he wanted to focus the majority of the revenue collection for workplace education investment on businesses that “by their nature, rely on highly educated professionals.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

King County Parks closes Five Mile Lake, Lake Geneva parks as visitors fail to follow COVID-19 safety rules

Closure of the parks begins today, Aug. 7, until further notice, county says.

I-5 to close overnight in Federal Way Aug. 28-30

5-mile shutdown for new bridge construction at 70th Avenue East in Fife

Kent, Federal Way men arrested in drug trafficking bust

Reportedly part of 12-member group distributing fentanyl, heroin, meth and cocaine

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

City seeking volunteers for commissions, boards

Applications will be reviewed Friday, Aug. 21.

King County Election headquarters in Renton on Aug. 4 for the primary election. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Inslee and Culp lead governor race; incumbent Dems ahead for Congress | Statewide results

Early results for governor, state schools chief, attorney general and more.

Democrats dominate King County legislative races | Election results

Here are the latest results for King County legislative candidates in the… Continue reading

Courtesy of King County
Latest results for District 30 legislative races

Johnson and Walsh lead for pos. 1; Taylor and Moore lead for pos. 2; Basler will likely challenge Smith for Congress seat.

SKFR engine. Mirror file photo
Voters approve South King Fire M&O levy

The $3.75M levy was approved by about 65 percent of voters.

Most Read