Washington lawmakers OK change to tax to fund college affordability

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington lawmakers have passed a bill that would change a tax that’s supposed to make it easier for the state to pay for the Legislature’s promise to make college more affordable.

The Seattle Times reports that initially, the 2019 package planned to use a business-and-occupation tax to pay for a measure making higher education more accessible, starting in the 2020-2021 school year.

The new bill passed Thursday replaces the tax lawmakers approved last year with a different version of the levy.

The legislation comes in response to higher-than-expected costs for Washington College Grant. That program has been projected to provide up to 110,000 low- or median-income students with reduced or free tuition.