Washington Considers Gas Tax Hike
- Feb 22, 2013 | Gail Cole
Fuel efficiency is a good thing for lots of reasons. Yet when states use gas taxes to fund roads and public transit, fuel efficient vehicles negatively impact state transportation systems. It's a conundrum.
Several lawmakers in Washington have proposed a $10 billion transportation package to solve it. Measures include more expensive car tabs and a tax hike on gasoline to counteract the dip in revenue caused by increased fuel efficiency. And don't think riding a bike will get you off without paying: a bike fee is also on the table.
Proposed changes include, but are not limited to:
- Increasing state gas tax 2 cents a year for five years;
- Creating a car-tab tax equal to 0.7% of a vehicle's value ($140 for a $20,000 car); and
- Creating a $25 sales fee for bicycles worth $500 or more.
The Seattle Times reports that "House Republican leaders said they saw little in the package they liked, and raised concerns about the size of the gas-tax increase." Representative Ed Orcutt (R-Kalama) said lawmakers should "make sure our tax dollars go further before we reach further into the taxpayers' pockets."
Democrats have a 55-43 majority in the House but will need Republican support to pass the transportation package. Current law requires a "two-thirds vote in the state House and Senate to approve most of the funding proposals" under consideration.
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