And the editorial says there’s no time to lose.
By 2035, the state Transportation Commission projects gas tax revenues will plunge by 45 percent per mile driven, due to exponential growth in EVs and fuel-efficient cars. Raising the gas tax, already the nation’s second-highest, is not a formula for long-term success. Nor is the state’s nominal $150 annual fee on electric cars.
Transportation officials are taking good first steps with a pay-per-mile experiment set to start in January. You can help by joining 2,000 volunteers consenting to track their mileage and pay a proposed “fee” of 2.4 cents per mile, in lieu of gas tax. (It’s just a simulation; you’ll actually keep paying at the pump.)
There are kinks to work out, such as privacy concerns and payment from out-of-state drivers. But it’s vital for Washington to move beyond pilot projects and implement a real road-usage charge as soon as possible.
Those “kinks” may be substantial impediments. As they say, time will tell.