Gov. Inslee’s New Transportation Plan Labled “End-Around” By Critics
Gov. Inslee is again taking heavy criticism for his idea of a November legislative session and extra gas tax.
Several of the same critics who blasted the governor for his performance during the legislative session are taking him to task over his proposal to pass a $.25 cent gas tax during a special session that would occur in November. Some legislators are saying the governor is jumping the gun, and neglecting important studies that are trying to reduce project costs in our state.
The Columbian Newspaper has blasted him for removing the CRC, or Columbia River Crossing from his latest transportation proposal in an effort to get it passed. While some have questioned the need for a replacement bridge for the aging I-5 structure over the Columbia, the Columbian makes some valid arguments as to how certain areas of the state are virtually ignored when it comes to where gas tax money is used.
The Columbian, based in Clark County, has compiled a list of where the funds for the last two transportation project funding packages went.
Between 2003 and 2005, two funding plans were approved, a $.5 cent and later a $9.5 cent-per-gallon tax, raising over $6 billion dollars. Of those funds, over $5.89 billion went to Seattle-Puget Sound area projects, including the flawed Alaska Way Viaduct and I-520 floating bridge plans, which are troubled by design flaws, delays and cost overruns.
While $152 billion went for highway improvements in Spokane, very little went anywhere else, including Clark County and the rest of the state. The Columbian argues while money was spent improving Snoqualmie Pass, it only sees 27,000 cars a day, the aging I-5 bridge into Oregon sees 134,000.
The Columbian summed up the latest idea from the governor this way:
“The catchphrase used to promote the 2003 gas tax: “It’s your Nickel, Watch it Work.” Very catchy. And Clark County residents only need to drive three hours in order to see their nickels in action.”
Seeing where the money has gone in the past, and likely the future, the same could be said for the rest of the state as well.