Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Last Thursday, the Senate unveiled a bipartisan, $15 billion transportation revenue package calling for an incremental gas-tax increase of 11.7 cents over the next three years. In addition to a gas-tax increase, it would allow Sound Transit to have an increase of 0.5 percent sales tax, 0.3 percent motor vehicle excise tax (MVET; this is what you pay when you renew your car tabs), and 10 cents per every $1,000 of assessed value property tax, and provides local options for a $40 vehicle-licensing fee.
We have some serious transportation projects we need to get off the ground in the 5th District – improvements on the SR 169 corridor, funding for the I-90/SR-18 interchange, and additional lane capacity on I-90 thru Issaquah, as well as $2 million to define and identify needed interchange modifications for Front Street and 11th and 12th streets. For a full list of slated projects, click here.
Currently, there are three projects in the proposal that would directly affect the 5th District. Those include the $2.3 million for Front Street interchange modifications, as well as funding for eastbound I-90 Eastgate to West Lake Sammamish Parkway and westbound I-90 shoulder hardening between Bellevue and Issaquah.
These projects are important but it's difficult for me to vote for this package the way it is currently without enacting needed reforms to WSDOT, some of which have been in the works for several years. However, like most major funding packages before the Legislature, this proposal is far from the final version.
I want to know what you think about the Senate's proposal. Below is a survey. I encourage you to answer my one question and provide comments. You can also call, email or write to me with your comments, concerns or questions about transportation funding. It's important I hear from you about this critical issue.
The Senate has proposed a $15 billion transportation revenue package, which includes an 11.7-cent gas-tax increase. Would you support this gas-tax increase?
2. Yes, but only if it major projects in the 5th District were funded
4. Not sure
Click here to answer the survey question.
It's important to me the final version of this revenue package includes provisions to mitigate congestion, and improve freight mobility and transportation safety. I serve on the House Transportation Committee, where we will be considering this proposal heavily in the coming weeks. I'll keep you updated on the latest with this package.
Additionally, today is policy committee cutoff, meaning bills that do not pass out of their respective policy committees by day's end are likely “dead” for the session. Fiscal committee cutoff is next week, Feb. 27. That said, bills necessary to implement the budget can be resurrected throughout session in spite of cutoffs. To learn more about legislative cutoffs, click here.
As always, I want to hear from you and know of ways state government can better serve you. If you have questions, suggestions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me.
It's an honor serving you.