Electric Car Puget Sound Energy (WA state dot)
Electric Car Puget Sound Energy (WA state dot)

According to information from The Center Square, and WA State Department of Transportation figures, over the next 28 years, the state is going to accumulate a $600 million dollar shortfall in the DOT budget.

   Falling revenue from the gas tax, electric vehicles the culprit

For years, the Washington state legislature has repeatedly raised the gas tax (at the ump) to offset declining revenue. Currently, we pay the 3rd highest excise tax in the US, only behind PA and CA  Our gas tax is $.49.4 cents per gallon, and theirs are just over $.57 cents.

The state has also added numerous surcharges to the registration of electric vehicles, WA drivers pay $225 which is the highest in the nation.

According to information from DOT, the state is looking at an annual decline of $21.4 million annual, adding up to $600 million over 28 years. The data says the latest declines are due to Federal clean car mandates, and the Corporate Average Fuel Economy or CAFE standards, which have steadily raised fuel mileage. Thus, less fuel, and less tax revenue.

The other recent blow was WA state adopting the CA law banning the sale of new gas-powered vehicles after the year 2035. The DOT Report, according to The Center Square, said this about the falling revenue:

“Collectively, these actions accelerate the decline of motor fuel consumption, putting more pressure on higher fuel tax rates and higher vehicle registration fees to provide vital transportation funding."

WA has steadily raised the gas tax since 2012, without realizing the effects of increased vehicle economy as well as these other economic factors. Also, consumers have adjusted their driving habits in an effort to save money during times when gas prices were higher.

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Now the legislature is looking to pass legislation that would put in a place a pay-by-mile tax pilot program, which would eventually phase out the gas tax.


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