House Democrats release transportation package with 11.7 cent gas tax increase

House Democrats today released their proposal for a comprehensive transportation package. Here are the documents, including a quick overview balance sheet.

Jordan Schrader reports:

Democrats who control the state House agree on something with Republicans who run the Senate: Washington should raise the gas tax by 11.7 cents per gallon to pay for transportation projects.

Now both sides of the Legislature have officially committed to a gas tax increase and have cast aside Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s suggestion of funding transportation with charges on greenhouse gas emissions.

There are substantive differences, he writes.

The House doesn’t want to tie Inslee’s hands in creating a green fuel standard for vehicles, as a Senate-passed plan would do.

The Senate also wants to free up money for transportation projects by exempting transportation from sales taxes, and by grabbing money earmarked for cleanup of hazardous waste.

The House omitted both of those shifts…

And so on. But those and other differences are to be expected and can, we hope, be bridged quickly.
Also today, an op-ed in the Everett Herald by the state legislative director of the SMART-Transportation Division, a national union of transportation workers, examined potential pitfalls of the governor’s preferred revenue alternative. 
Today’s progress is encouraging.