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Eight-Cent Gas Tax Hike Proposed by King County Executive

Dow Constantine and the Sound Cities Association, which includes Shoreline and Lake Forest Park, are asking the Legislature to help "solve our statewide transportation crisis."

King County Executive Dow Constantine has joined other local officials in asking the Washington Legislature to raise gas taxes to help pay for upgrades to the state's transportation infrastructure and provide additional transit funding in the county.

What do you think of the proposed increases? Tell us in the comments section.

In a Dec. 14 letter posted on the news website PubliCola, Constantine, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Renton Mayor Denis Law, representing the Sound Cities Association, propose an 8-cent increase to the gas tax as well as the ability for counties and cities to raise their car-tab fees by $40. Law serves as board president of the Sound Cities Association, which also includes Shoreline and Lake Forest Park officials.

The letter, addressed to Gov. Chris Gregoire, cites a "statewide transportation crisis" and asks for additional revenue to "preserve and maintain our portion of the State’s transportation system and address the growing demand for transit services."

Click here to read the entire document.

one opinion December 28, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Recently, I received a VOWS (Voice of Washington Survey) on this subject. Sponsored by the Washington State Transportation Commission, the survey reported that just to fund preservation and maintenance (P&M) of the existing transportation system would cost the average household $33 per month. Even a 15¢ per gallon gas tax increase - and 100% of gas taxes go to roads (per the state's 18th amendment) would only raise 47% of that amount! That's why this package relies on a MVET (motor vehicle excise tax) of 1.5%, which proponents claim will be fairer than last time's, and a $40 VLF (vehicle license fee). The total they seek is enough for just P&M, but they're proposing giving a 60% share of the $ to transit. I'd much rather see the higher gas tax with a lower MVET, as the latter is another disincentive to replace one's car. Further, P&M should be funded at 100%, otherwise some roads get converted to gravel and some lesser bridges get dismantled. Greater transparency should be required of all "needs," and the funding should be even more broad-based, such as 80% user-based, 20% general (as we all benefit from a strong transportation network). Long-term funding I've seen are: fee for miles driven, electronic tolling, sales tax on fuel, vehicle emissions, flat fee on high MPG vehicles, insurance, and property tax.

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