Washington State to Increase Gas Tax by Seven Cents on Saturday

The phased, two-year, 11.9-cent gas tax increase is the largest since Pennsylvania's gas tax increase passed in Nov. 2013. On July 1, 2016, fuel taxes will be raised 4.9 cents. Taxes will fund a $16.1 billion package of transportation improvements.
July 30, 2015, 7am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"This package represents the largest, single investment in transportation in state history," said Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D), who signed the bill at the University of Washington bike-friendly campus, as the King 5 News video below shows.

According to the governor's press release, the "16-year, $16 billion “Connecting Washington” package includes:
  • $8.8 billion for road and safety projects including mega-projects such as SR 520 bridge, the North Spokane Corridor, SR 167/SR 509 Gateway Project, and widening of I-5 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
  • $1.4 billion for highway maintenance and preservation.
  • $1.3 billion for non-highway projects such as bike paths, rail, and transit.
  • $602 million for ferries including a fourth Olympic Class Ferry Vessel.
  • Other investments related to fish barrier removal, bridge preservation, freight rail improvements, electric vehicle, and alternative fuel tax credits and commute trip reduction programs.

"The package also authorizes Sound Transit to seek voter-approval for $15 billion to extend light rail as far north as Everett and as far south as Tacoma," notes the press release.

While the Washington gas tax increase is only the second to be signed into law by a Democratic governor this year, it marks the ninth time that state legislatures have passed gas tax increases and been signed into law, with one notable exception. The political party of the governor is indicated below (Democrat, Republican, Independent).

  1. Georgia (R)
  2. Idaho (R)
  3. Kentucky (D)
  4. North Carolina (R)
  5. South Dakota (R)
  6. Utah (R)
  7. Nebraska [bill became law as a result of overriding Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) veto]
  8. Alaska (Ind.)
Gas tax changes in seven states that took effect July 1 are noted here. Remember to add Alaska's new $.0095 a gallon levy.
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Published on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 in King 5 News
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