If the House Democratic Transportation plan is approved in Olympia, Washington state would have the highest state gas tax in the nation.

A Senate companion version is expected soon, but House Democrats have rolled out a 26-year, $16 billion dollar plan. It would also include an inflation related gas tax as well down the road, but that amount was not given.

Officials say they would fund the package with carbon taxes, $15 per metric ton of carbon, followed by an increase to $20, then it would be $25 by the year 2025.

According to House Transportation Chair Jake Fey (D), "Our proposal is much more substantial than any in state history because the needs and challenges are so much bigger. These include long overdue investments, help for frontline communities, and carbon reduction to fight climate change.”

When asked if this was a good idea for a state whose families and businesses are struggling with COVID lockdowns and a hammered economy, Fey said:

“We are facing, because of COVID, revenue reductions, so in some respects if we don’t do this, we’re going to be in the position of cutting projects.”

According to KIRO-KTTH Radio, the WSDOT says they only spend about half of what they should on maintenance of roads and highways. Of this massive amount of money, $3 billion would go towards fish passage restoration projects, which officials say the state is Federally mandated to do.

If this measure passes, the $.18 cent jump (when added to the state's existing tax of $.49 per gallon) would give us the highest gas tax in the nation.

The next time you're at the gas pump, look at the little stickers on the machine, where you will see the state and federal gas taxes posted.

To learn more about this plan, which is getting stiff resistance from GOP leaders, click on the button below.

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