Good afternoon. I would like to ask for your participation in two ways. I want to invite you to participate in our town hall meetings tomorrow and I am also requesting you take a moment to take our one-question gas tax survey.
Town hall meetings
I will be holding three town hall meetings with Rep. Dave Hayes in the 10th District on Saturday, March 16. The outreach events will be in Stanwood, La Conner and Coupeville. We want to give you as many opportunities as possible to provide us with input because so many big issues will be debated from now until the end of session. It is a critical time and the stories I hear from my constituents inform my decisions in Olympia. The meeting times are as follows:
Stanwood Community & Senior Center –Center Social Room
7430 276th Street NW
Stanwood, WA 98292
La Conner Middle School-Commons
403 N 6th Street,
La Conner, WA 98257
788 NW Alexander Street
Coupeville, WA 98239
***Park in the lower municipal gravel lot***
We look forward to seeing you there.
House Democrat's transportation tax plan
Secondly, majority Democrats in the House want to create a new, 10-cent per gallon gas tax. Should this proposal come to fruition, drivers in Washington would pay the highest gas tax in the nation, more than doubling the state's gas tax since 2003. When you include federal gas taxes, drivers in our state would pay 66 cents in combined state and federal taxes for every gallon of gasoline they purchase. Please click here to take a survey on the gas tax and leave a comment for me. It isn't just a gas tax that is being proposed. Additional fees include:
- reinstating the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax or MVET. The proposal is a .7 percent tax which amounts to $140 increase in license fees for a $20,000 automobile;
- increasing the weight fee by 15 percent for large vehicles. Cost to owners: $102 million;
- implementing a fee of $25 for each bicycle purchased. Cost to bicyclists: $1 million; and
- increasing the hazardous substance tax increase 0.3 percent, which could cost farmers and taxpayers about $897 million.
Financing our transportation system, from road maintenance and preservation to freight mobility, transit and ferries, is a major issue. But before we start throwing more money into the system, I believe we should fix it before we fund it. Next week, I will update you on our transportation reforms and solutions, our Fund Education First budget proposal, and other pertinent issues I am working on this legislative session. It is an honor and a privilege to serve you in the 10th District!