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Gov. Inslee Wants Gas Tax to Support His Transportation Budget

Inslee proposes new gas tax to fund transportation budget for 2013-14
(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

This week, Governor Jay Inslee reiterated his desire for a 10-cent-per-gallon tax increase to help fund the $8.7 billion transportation budget he signed Monday.

The budget bill will continue spending on large-ticket projects, but it does not include money for the proposed new bridge that would connect Portland, Oregon and Vancouver. Inslee vetoed the provision that would have set aside $81 million for that controversial project.

Many leaders in Olympia say given the state’s current budget situation they cannot afford to undertake such a project at this time.

However, after campaigning on a platform of no new taxes, Inslee has reversed course, and for the first time has openly called for an increase. He says the 10-cent gas tax is necessary to refurbish Washington’s infrastructure. According to FoxQ13 in Seattle, Inslee says one 1 of every 5 bridges in Washington state is “functionally obsolete.”

Inslee is hoping legislators approve the budget, but it will be hard to get it past the GOP-led Senate in Olympia. Even if the legislature passes the plan, it may still have to go before voters in November.


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