Topic: gas tax
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June 25, 2013 at 11:53 AM
House Transportation Chairwoman Judy Clibborn released details Tuesday of a new $10 billion transportation tax package that would increase the state gas tax by 10.5 cents per gallon.
Under the proposal, the gas tax would increase 6 cents per gallon on July 1 of this year and an additional 4.5 cents per gallon on July 1, 2014, Clibborn said.
In addition to the gas tax, the proposal would increase various weight and title fees, including a 15 percent boost in weight fees for freight trucks of more than 10,000 pounds. It also includes local option taxes, including a motor vehicle excise tax of up to 1.5 percent of vehicle value in counties with more than 1 million people, if approved by voters.
The package allocates nearly $3.3 billion for major projects including work on Interstate 405, Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90, and a new Columbia River crossing on Interstate 5. Nearly $1.1 billion of it would go toward preservation and maintenance of highways and bridges.
More than $500 million would go to support public transportation, and millions more would be spent on bicycle and pedestrian paths and safe routes to school.
Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, says she’s had assurances from Democratic leaders in the House that the transportation tax package will get a vote on the floor by Wednesday. She’s not sure if the Republican-controlled majority in the Senate, which disagrees with many provisions in the package, will bring it up for a vote.
The biggest area of disagreement is funding for the Columbia River crossing. Republicans oppose including light rail in the project, arguing, in part, that rail is a waste of potential road space.
They also maintain the addition of light rail restricts the height of the proposed bridge, making it too low for upstream companies to move cargo and equipment underneath.
Clibborn said she expects changes if the measure clears the Senate. “I’ve told my side it will not look the same,” she said.
Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee has said he wants lawmakers to remain in town until a transportation package is passed.
The Legislature also still has to negotiate and pass a state operating budget.
February 13, 2013 at 3:55 PM
The Associated Press
The mayors of more than 40 cities across Washington have sent a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee and legislative leaders, urging them to consider an 8-cent per gallon increase in the gas tax to help pay for transportation needs.
The letter from the Mayors’ Transportation Forum was sent Wednesday. Among the signees were Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, as well as the mayors of Bellingham, Federal Way, Tacoma, Olympia, Vancouver and Walla Walla. In addition to the gas-tax increase, the letter suggests a motor-vehicle excise tax increase of up to 1.5 percent that counties could enact by public vote or by a vote by county councils, and the expansion of the vehicle license fee from $20 to $40. The license fee could also be increased either by public vote or by a vote of local councils.
The mayors say more than $3 billion is needed to maintain roadways and bridges in the state over the next 10 years. Democrats in the state House are expected to introduce their transportation proposals next week.
February 12, 2013 at 3:43 PM
Updated at 6:23 p.m.
House Democrats plan to roll out a $6 billion transportation tax package next Wednesday.
House Transportation Chairwoman Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, said the money would primarily come from a gas tax and that they want to try to pass the measure in the Legislature instead of sending it to voters. Passing a gas tax increase in the Legislature would require a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate.
Clibborn said she expects to have backing from both business and labor for the proposal, which would include money for a wide variety of projects including a new bridge over the Columbia River, as well as funds for projects on Interstate 405 and the Interstate 90 mountain passes.
She said the $6 billion figure was a starting point. “The one thing I’ve heard from everybody is they want more,” she said Tuesday.
It’s not clear yet how such a proposal might fare in the state Senate, which is controlled by a GOP-led coalition. Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said he personally would want any gas tax proposal to go to voters, but added he wasn’t speaking for his caucus.
Jaime Smith, a spokeswoman for Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, said in an email: “The governor thinks this is the right approach and he has been discussing this with House members as the plan has evolved. He has said before he thinks the Legislature should be able to do this work here.”
October 5, 2012 at 8:52 AM
WASHINGTON — For the first time in his campaign, U.S. Senate hopeful Michael Baumgartner has proposes to raise taxes — a penny-a-gallon increase in the 18.4-cent federal gas tax.
Baumgartner, a Republican freshman state senator from Spokane who is running against Maria Cantwell, would not use the extra money to shore up the chronically underfunded Highway Trust Fund. Instead, he would reserve the estimated $2 billion a year in extra revenue to provide medical care for veterans.
The tax plan is the second time this week Baumgartner has staked out a position on high-profile issues ahead of his first debate with Cantwell next Friday. On Wednesday, he announced his support for Initiative 502 that will ask Washington residents to legalize retail sales of small amounts of marijuana to adults.
Cantwell opposes legalizing recreational use of pot, though she said she would abide by the voters’ decision in November.
Baumgartner said the penny increase in the gas tax would be temporary and expire once the number of U.S. troops in global “conflict zones” drops below 1,000. Currently, there are some 68,000 U.S. trooops in Afghanistan alone.
Baumgartner and Cantwell will hold a televised debate in Seattle October 12.
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