Legislature passes transportation package, along with big gas tax hike

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From CNN.

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Legislature has passed a $16.1 billion transportation revenue package that includes an incremental 11.9-cent gas tax increase over the next two years.

After a multihour overnight delay because of a dispute between Senate Democrats and Republicans over unrelated bills, senators returned to the floor Wednesday morning to pass the revenue bill on a 37-8 vote and send it to the governor.

The House passed the measure earlier in the morning on a bipartisan 54-44 vote. The Senate also passed a bonding bill tied to the package, as well as a spending bill that designates the money to specific projects.

The transportation plan would increase the gas tax in two stages: a 7-cent increase on Aug. 1 and a 4.9-cent increase on July 1, 2016. The plan spends $8.8 billion on state and local road projects and $1.4 billion on maintenance and preservation.

Another $1 billion would be spent on non-highway projects, like bike paths, pedestrian walkways and transit. It also would allow Sound Transit to ask voters to pay for potential expansions of its rail line.

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27 comments

      • "peety"

        no, I am not a state employee. I don not gain, I pay like you.

        in case you missed it, our region has grown rapidly in the last decade. Yet our roads have not.
        Personally I support transponders, so each person pays for every mile they drive, but that won’t help commercial trucking, which is much needed o keep our economy growing.

        • Dan Rafael

          A mileage tax also hits rural areas including the state’s farm industry extremely hard. Include those who cannot afford to live in the urban areas. In other words, it caters to urban progressives.

          • "peety"

            that is a good point. I suppose that is why only major cities have tried this or considered it.

          • Danny Rafael

            Peety, No, the state of Oregon just passed it, albeit on a volunteer basis to start. And consider who will benefit the greatest and who has the greatest clout in the legislature — do you think they will push for a Seattle only tax? No it will be state-wide.

        • tootietuttle

          the roads have not kept up because of horrible left wing, democrat laden management of more than ample tax money that they squandered on their own pensions and bloated salaries. Just in case you missed it, Marko Liaas draws two government salaries. Stupidity like that is really where your tax dollars are being wasted.

          • "peety"

            Liass moved from House to Senate. He only has one job that I know of

            Tim Sheldon, the lying Republican from Belfair, is the Mason County Commissioner AND a State Representative

            bills were introduced by both parties to not allow double duty but neither passed.

  • dg54321

    Screwing over the people that work for a living to keep giving to those who do nothing, including the politicians. Only a politician or criminal (same thing) would think this is a good deal. F you, Olympia.

      • cindy

        bus schedules don’t always work with everyone that would take them… especially if you live out in the sticks … or work late hours … it’s b.s. to put so much taxes on gas when you don’t have other options. I live on the kitsap peninsula where transit basically stops at 7 pm, I’m sure I’m not the only person that gets off work later than that

      • Danny Rafael

        Take a bus, hmmm, want to try that with 3 kids and a dog? Yeah, not very user friendly for families.
        Take a bus, hmmm, read articles about people getting killed at bus stops, killed on buses, attacked at bus stations. Yeah, great plan.
        Take a bus, hmmm, drive 10 tax-laden miles to a bus stop, catch a bus that runs at best once an hour, and stops at 7.
        Take a bus, hmmm, I don’t think they will let me bring my carpet cleaning, sewage pumping, freight hauling business. Will they?
        How about this, get state and local transportation management that isn’t corrupt and/or incompetent. Let’s get an explanation on why Seattle and Washington are some of the least efficient entities for transportation efficiency. Explain why we go through repeated slow downs and work stoppages on road projects, the ferries, etc. Or why it is out-of-state companies that profit from many of our projects (really, couldn’t build the ferries here in Washington?)

  • JimBob

    Oh yeah another state issue where a local Fox station is paying for AP reporting. Yeehaw. Remember the gas tax hike some years ago? You remember, the one where guys like Ken Schram were lambasting citizens who were against it? It was also a tax that was supposed to sunset after so many years. Well the critics were right. Here we go again. It never ends and only goes up. Sick of this crap. These politicians will be the first ones to blame oil companies when prices spike but they’ll conveniently forget that they’re getting dam near 40 cents a gallon to blow our money on voter pay-off social welfare programs.

  • "PEETY"

    This is exactly What the voters wanted! My mom also has pizza rolls is the oven! What a great day in Washington!

  • tootietuttle

    we gotta pay for marko liaas lipo somehow…now he can get three jobs with all the tax money flowing in.

    Screwing the middle class is what dems do best.

  • Kit

    The gas tax is OK with me because the roads are wearing out from the increased population and traffic. Lots more people are coning! I know some communities are more car dependent, but the tax is for the greater good.

    • Dan Rafael

      Greater good? How do I get in that club? I drive over the same crappy unmaintained roads everyday while seeing accident and death rates increase because they can’t handle the volume. I go through merges, on/off-ramps that high school students could’ve designed better, and I’m subject to a constantly increasing ferry fare system that is neither efficient nor reliable. All this while seeing a broken Bertha that will eventually bilk all of Washington in project over-runs. And for whatever reason, I see millions spent on travel circles, because Washington drivers can’t figure out stop signs? We have one of the most transportation systems in the nation, and one of the most inept. I don’t mind paying for roads, I do mind paying for corruption and incompetence.

  • Cheryl

    I agree too that licensing bikes should be. Why did the darn bike paths get more work than the roads which agreed are falling apart. Also electric cars should be paying more of their share.

  • Chameleon

    So…let me make sure I read that right. 8.8 billion for roads, 1.4 billion for maintenance, and 1 billion for other special non-highway projects.That’s 11.2 billion. Why the hell does the budget call for 16.1 billion? Are they honestly siphoning off an added 5 billion dollars from us?

  • Adam Stanley

    Great at least we know the gas we are wasting while sitting in the endless bumper to bumper back ups around this shithole side of the state that will NEVER GO AWAY, will cost a lot more

  • AbigailDBerg

    >>>>my buddy’s mom makes $81 /hr on the laptop . She has been out of a job for 8 months but last month her income was $14204 just working on the laptop for a few hours.>>>> Read More