Orcutt says state should fix problems with transportation system before raising gas tax on struggling families

  'Our economy is in a fragile state of recovery.  Now is not the time to be taking more money away from individuals, families and employers,' says Orcutt

House Democrats led an effort today to increase the state's portion of the gas tax by 10.5 cents over the next 13 months.  Combined with the 37.5 cents-per-gallon already collected, Washington drivers would pay 48 cents to the state in gas taxes for each gallon of gas purchased, making it one of the highest – if not the highest – in the nation.

Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, and ranking Republican on the House Transportation Committee, released the following statement:

“The timing for this gas-tax increase is horrible. During testimony in the House Transportation Committee earlier this year, we heard reports that our state pays one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half times as much for major transportation construction projects than other states. We will be taking a very close look at the reasons behind this discrepancy during the interim. Why would we put more tax dollars into an expensive transportation construction system when we're on the verge of possible solutions? It makes no sense. Our state gas-tax dollars must go further before we reach further into taxpayers' pockets.

“We also have a transportation system that has proven inefficient and unaccountable. We've seen major construction project delays, errors and design flaws. We should pass reform measures to bring more accountability and transparency to the system. Simply put, we must fix it before we fund it.

“In addition, now is not the time to be taking more money away from individuals, families and employers. Our economy is in a fragile state of recovery. Increasing the gas tax by 10.5 cents will mean our state gas tax rate will have more than doubled since 2003. An increased tax burden on the people at a time when many are still unemployed or underemployed will further hamper our state's economic recovery and the economic recovery of individuals and families.”

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov