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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 24, 2013 at 7:00 AM

House Democrats’ transportation package focuses on gas, car-tab taxes

Plan needs to be more complete

The House Democrats’ plan outlined in the transportation package would raise the state gas tax by 10 cents over five years, eventually reaching a total of 47.5 cents per gallon. ALAN BERNER/THE SEATTLE TIMES

Regrettably, House Democrats are predictably out to lunch in their latest gas-tax proposal, mostly due to ignoring Highway 520 and Highway 99 funding as a part of the package [“Gas, car-tab taxes drive Dems’ plan,” page one, Feb. 21].

How we could launch on the latter two megaprojects without a clear plan to pay for them is remarkable, yet not the focus of my concern here. The reality is that nobody wants to pay more taxes, and yet clearly we have transportation needs that outstrip current funding.

I’m convinced that both gas-tax increases and road tolling is going to prove a loser to the electorate, and rightfully so. State government needs to decide which it’s going to be, instead of operating with a shotgun approach. With a substantial portion of toll collections going to the physical equipment and private company running the program, I believe it’s time for the state to shelve the idea of new tolling for good.

They must make the case for and focus on more efficient funding such as the gas tax, and propose a comprehensive plan that addresses all our major needs.

When that happens, I’ll thoughtfully consider such a proposal, and likely support it. In the meantime, I’ll vote against incomplete and piecemeal ideas — which seem to be the way government operates of late.

–Eric English, Seattle

Bicyclists should not be taxed

Why am I not surprised at the state Dems wanting to tax their already overtaxed citizens even more to pay for projects that could be paid for if this current Legislature would actually grow a backbone and cut spending on unnecessary things?

And a $25 tax on bike purchases over $500? The only bikes not being taxed would be kids’ bikes, being that most base-model adult bikes cost around $1,000.

Even as a driver, I am entirely against taxing cyclists. Their impact on the roads is negligible at worst and they are in fact doing the world a favor. Why punish them?

I swear this state will think of any reason to tax anything. Thank God I am moving away when I retire. Washington state is run by fools.

–Taiji Tamura, Shoreline

Comments | More in bicycling, Transportation | Topics: Gas tax, House Democrats

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