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Washington Considers Gas Tax Hike

  • Feb 22, 2013 | Gail Cole

 Even Bikes Would Help Fund Washington Transportation.

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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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.