Washington state's governor says fuel tax hike OK by him

| 12/26/2002

Fresh from the Election Day defeat of a measure that would have raised fuel taxes to pay for highway and transit work, the governor of Washington says he would back a fuel tax increase without voter approval, The Seattle Times reported Dec. 20.

In November, the state's voters defeated Referendum 51, an $8.7 billion transportation package that would have been powered by a fuel-tax hike.

Despite the public vote last month, the newspaper reported, the Legislature can raise the fuel tax rate without an OK from voters. And while Gov. Gary Locke says he isn't proposing an increase, he said he would support a measure that would be much smaller than the defeated proposal.