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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 23, 2013 at 7:38 AM

Gas tax increase

DOT needs to focus on more important projects, such as traffic congestion

Today the news contained mention of a likely deal coming in the next several days to raise the gas tax in this state by either 10.5 or 11 cents [“Big issues remain, but Senate GOP open to gas-tax hike,” Online, Nov. 12].

The reasons are varied for why this is something that must be done before the regular legislative session in January. (Though, as I understand it, the tax would not be raised before that time).

If you try to slip this under the radar during the holidays and pass this gas tax increase, I will be the first one on Tim Eyman’s front door insisting he help me put together an initiative for next November’s ballot to repeal it. And, I suspect I would get the required number of signatures in very short order.

Because we don’t have an income tax in this state, things like the gas tax will need to occasionally increase to pay for the necessary transportation projects. Under normal circumstances, most of us would grumble, but would still understand.

However, until some significant changes are made in the Department of Transportation, I will fight any increase with vehemency.

The DOT needs to change their philosophy when it comes to reducing traffic congestion. Right now, their stated policy is that congestion relief is not a priority. Really? The last report I heard said that the Seattle area has the fourth worst traffic congestion in the nation.

The state needs to stop charging the DOT sales tax on the materials used in transportation projects. This is just a sneaky, backdoor way to siphon funds from the transportation budget to the general budget because the law says that the transportation dollars must be used on transportation projects.

— Susan Murphy, Lacey

0 Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: transportation

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