February 16, 2015

$15 Billion Transportation Revenue Proposal Would Fund Road Construction, Maintenance

By Sarah Washburn

On Thursday, February 12, Washington State Senate majority leaders proposed a $15 billion transportation revenue package that includes an incremental gas tax increase of 11.7 cents over the next three years.  About $8.2 billion of the total is earmarked for building and rebuilding of highways, the major examples of which include $1.6 billion to fund completion of the Seattle side of the new Highway 520 bridge, $862 million to fund completion of the North Spokane Freeway, $1.88 billion to expand Highway 167 and Highway 509 in King and Pierce counties, and $1.24 billion to widen Interstate 405.  Another $1.3 billion is earmarked for road maintenance.  

The transportation revenue proposal also includes provisions that would reduce labor costs by exempting certain workers from prevailing wage laws, reduce the sales taxes paid by road projects into the state’s general fund, and block a low-carbon fuel standard previously proposed by the governor.  We will post updates as the Legislature continues to negotiate the transportation package.