State senators unveil $15B transportation package that would raise gas taxes 11.7 cents over 3 years

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Koehler Urges Higher Gas Prices

Photo Illustration by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Senate majority leaders on Thursday unveiled a $15 billion transportation revenue package that includes an incremental gas tax increase of 11.7 cents over three years.

Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, introduced the proposal Thursday and said he was confident that the measure would pass with bipartisan support. He was joined by Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, and Democratic Sens. Marko Liias, D-Lynnwood, and Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens.

The Senators said that the package would include $8 billion in new construction spending, paid for with an 11.7-cent gas tax implemented in stages over three years, fee increases, sales tax and a percentage of the Environment Legacy Stewardship Account.

In addition to the gas-tax increase over the next three years, the plan also seeks to redirect sales-tax money from transportation projects to a transportation fund instead of the state’s general fund.

The Senate proposal puts more than $8 billion toward road projects that include the North-South Freeway in Spokane and I-90 on Snoqualmie Pass, and puts money toward transit and local rail projects, as well as bike paths and pedestrian walkways.

Gov. Jay Inslee said he welcomed the proposal and called it “a strong start,” but added that he does have some questions about it, “particularly about some of the conditions attached to the bill.”

“We need to look carefully at the total amount of sales tax proposed to be moved from the operating budget, changes to worker wages, and the connection to a clean fuel standard. Under the Senate plan, if Washington adopts a low carbon fuel standard to reduce emissions, we lose transit funding,” he said.

“We need to see how much support the bill has in the Senate, and then we can all work on the next phase of negotiations. I remain optimistic that we can work together and get a package across the finish line this session.”



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  • ShadowWalker59

    Typical, they can’t budget worth a damn, so where do they go for their money?…….Yep, it’s us again. We are their bank, so whenever they need or want, money……they just come to us and say……….WE, want you to pay for all this, and what you say about it, means absolutely nothing to us, we don’t care. We ask, we take, we spend, whatever money we need, and the good old public has to fork it over.

  • Jana Wheeler

    Just what we need. LESS money in our pockets. You know some people aren’t having such a rosey recovery. I have a friend who was laid off, one can’t find work, ones pay was, cut, and I on limited income is helping all 3. Wonderful recovery. I can’t afford Obama and his recovery. He lies!

    Jana Wheeler.

  • Marc McGuire

    As of July 2014, Oil Change International estimates U. S. Fossil Fuel Subsidies at $37.5 Billion annually including $21 Billion in Production and Exploration Subsidies. Why doesn’t the Senate use the Subsidies they give to Oil and Gas Industry to be used to pay for the Roads and Bridges. The Oil and Gas Industry uses our Roads and Bridges just like we do. It is always the Taxpayers and Consumers who are “FORCED TO FOOT THE BILL!” But the American People can’t “COMPETE” against the LOBBYIST OF THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY AND THE TENS OF BILLION DOLLARS THEY PROFIT FROM EVERY YEAR!

    • Mike

      Marc – giving a tax break is NOT a subsidy. If it was – the Feds subsidize homeowner mortgages to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. That is a true subsidy, if you will …while gas and oil companies are given the ability to write off certain expenses. You can be against giving businesses these write-offs, but if they go away, then the businesses must cover the costs by raising prices to everyone….or possibly go out of business. If you want REAL subsidies – look at the money going to wind and solar power generation – there is REAL taxpayer money going into the pockets of businessmen who are selling an unaffordable product to an unsuspecting public, and they give big kickbacks (campaign contributions) to the politicians who fund these projects.

      And why the complain about companies making profit? That is the real reason they exist. Oil and gas companies have hundreds of billions of dollars invested in the infrastructure to drill holes and extract a product out of the ground, deliver it to refineries and then provide it to customers efficiently and fairly cheaply! Those investors expect a return on investment, or they might as well put the money in a bank and get 3% to 5% interest payments. Are you against investors investing…and then getting a profit on their investment? You sound like you are totally against the free market system of private investments.

  • alice smith

    Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, hear it for yourself as he describes taxpayers as “children”.
    These arrogant politicians will eventually get to the point that if we want to live they’ll attempt to tax us for breathing, after they’ve stolen every bit of real property they can get their hands on from us. In reality, they’re nothing more than organized criminals. Thieves, the lot of them. It’s been said that George Washington said the following: “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action” It’s long past time that we the people got a fire extinguisher.

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