Gas prices have plummeted, but Washington’s gas tax could soon go up.
Republican Curtis King, the chair of the Senate Transportation committee, is looking at an 11.5-cent per gallon increase phased in over three years. It would help fund a $14 billion transportation package with projects on both sides of the Cascades.
“Let’s make it 11.5 [cents]. That would generate enough money for us to finish the North-South in Spokane, finish the west end of the 520,” King said.
Those are just two examples of high priority projects that would likely get funded by a gas tax increase.
It’s been a decade since the last transportation package passed the Washington legislature. Pressure has been building on lawmakers to fund a new round of projects as well as maintenance and preservation of existing roads.
Democratic Governor Jay Inslee proposed a carbon-emissions charge on industrial emitters instead of another gas tax increase.