OLYMPIA, WA - Democratic lawmakers in Olympia are looking to push through a $25.8 billion transportation package, which if passed would roll out over the next 16 years.
However, more than half of the funding for the bill would come from raising gasoline taxes to 18 cents per gallon, and 21 cents for diesel fuel over the next 2 years. After that the gas tax would continue to slowly increase over the course of 16 years to match inflation.
So where would the money go?
According to Rep. Jake Fey, Head of the House Transportation Committee some funds would go towards local roads, state highways and other construction projects.
Fey also says the state needs the money to repair the I-5 bridge over the Columbia River, a bridge used to transport state exports, and the money would also go towards removing state-owned culverts blocking fish passages, a new requirement set forth by the U.S Supreme Court.
According to lawmakers who support the bill the fuel tax will allow the state to fund projects without going into debt and borrowing money. Officials in Olympia say the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, Sen. Steve Hobbs is set to present the bill to senate as early next week.
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