state House Democrats Tuesday unveiled a 10-year, $2.6 billion transportation
plan anchored by a 3-cent fuel tax increase, according to local
revenue-and-project plan is just a third the size of Referendum
51, which voters soundly rejected last fall. That $7.8 billion plan
sought a 9-cent increase in the state’s 23-cent-a-gallon fuel tax.
Transportation Chairman Ed Murray, D-Seattle, told KGW television
the new plan was “a small step forward.” The package was purposely
kept small because of the current recession, high fuel prices and
the voters’ strong rejection of R-51, he said.
addition to the 3-cent fuel tax increase, the proposal includes
a 15 percent increase in truck-weight fees and a 0.6 percent tax
on new and used vehicle purchases. Proceeds from the sale of bonds
would also be part of the plan.
House Democrats’ plan would be enacted by the Legislature – not
put to a public vote – and would contain an emergency clause so
the law would take effect immediately.