Washington State Considering New Gas Tax, Transit and Bike Fees

The state legislature is weighing three proposals that seek to fund improvements to aging infrastructure and upgrade the state's transportation network.

February 26, 2021, 8:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Washington State Ferry

Christine Majul / Flickr

A Washington state proposal would add a 3-cent-per-gallon gas tax, among other new taxes, to fund road improvements and make up for revenue lost during the pandemic, reports Michelle Baruchman for the Seattle Times. The measure, proposed by state Senator Curtis King, would also raise the sales tax on bicycles and bike parts and increase fares on public transit, ferries, and rideshare services. King, the ranking Republican on the state Senate Transportation Committee, said of his proposal, "it’s time we made everybody contribute and pay for what they use."

King's plan would raise $10 billion in eight years to be used primarily to fund highway maintenance and preservation, replace aging bridges on Interstate 5 and the West Seattle Bridge, and fund other highway megaprojects. It also supports funding infrastructure for hydrogen-powered cars, "devoting $300 million in his plan to helping with the production of hydrogen, installing service stations and providing incentives for the purchase of hydrogen-fueled vehicles."

Other transportation and infrastructure proposals in the state senate focus on non-highway projects, carbon fees, and "ambitious plans to tackle the transportation sector’s contributions to climate change." A proposal from Senator Jake Fey "calls for a 16-year, $27 billion program that would include a $15 per ton fee on carbon emissions and an 18-cent hike in gas taxes, phased over two years." Another "proposes a 12-year, $14.3 billion plan that would levy a carbon fee as well as a tax on luxury aircraft and yachts." All three proposals are being debated in the current legislative session.

Saturday, February 20, 2021 in Seattle Times

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

Single-Family Housing Construction

New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives

The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.

May 16, 2022 - The White House

Complete Street Vancouver

Study: Most of Vancouver Is a ‘15-Minute City’

A large majority of Vancouver residents can access a grocery store in 15 minutes or less by bicycle or on foot.

May 20 - Vancouver Sun

Montreal, Quebec

Urban Design, Transport, and Health

The Lancet medical journal published a series of articles that explore how to evaluate and guide urban planning decisions to create healthy and sustainable cities. Live long and prosper!

May 20 - The Lancet - Urban Design, Transport, and Health

MoGo Bikeshare Bikes

Detroit Bike Share Celebrates Five Years

In its five years of operation, Detroit’s MoGo bikeshare has added electric and adaptive bikes to its fleet of more than 600 bikes.

May 20 - MoGo

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.