Wash. Senators Propose 11.7 Cent Gas Tax Hike To Fund Roads
A bipartisan group of Washington state senators is backing an 11.7 cent gas tax increase over three years.
The 16-year proposal was rolled out late Thursday at the Capitol. The higher gas tax would help fund a multi-billion dollar roads and transit package.
The $15 billion proposal would fund six megaprojects in Washington as well as 58 regional projects. It would also pump nearly $1.5 billion into preservation and maintenance of existing roads and bridges.
The funding package also includes several so-called transportation reforms pushed by Republicans. One would direct the sales tax paid on transportation projects back into transportation, instead of into the state general fund.
That’s a tough sell for Democrats like Sen. Marko Liias, who called the proposed package a “first step.”
"The reason I’m here today is because I think it’s time to launch a conversation with the people of Washington and show them the work that we’ve done and ask for their input on the elements of the proposal that’s before us," Liias said.
It’s been a decade since Washington lawmakers last approved a major transportation funding measure.