NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


November 2, 2005

Washington state residents will soon vote on Initiative 912, a measure to repeal the state's new gas tax increase, says the Washington Policy Center. The tax hike, which was passed in April by the state legislature, is being phased in over three years, and will amount to 9.5 cents a gallon by 2008.

Supporters of 912 say that the transportation projects partially funded by the tax hike won't alleviate congestion. Furthermore:

  • Since 1924, Washington's gas tax has increased 1,500 percent -- from 2 cents then to 31 cents today.
  • Washington's combined state and federal gas taxes total 49.4 cents a gallon and will increase to 56 cents a gallon by 2008.
  • The state has the 10th highest gas taxes in the nation.

Supporters of the tax, including labor unions, corporations and trade associations argue that the transportation projects, which total about $8.6 billion, will make roads safer and claim the tax is a small price to pay for safety.

If Initiative 912 passes this month, it will be the second time in three years that Washington voters have turned down a large tax increase. In 2002, voters rejected a similar measure which would have increased the gas tax by 9 cents a gallon.

Source: John Barnes, "Initiative 912 Fuels Debate Over New Gas Tax," Washington Policy Center.


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