Car tab, bike fees part of House transportation package

OLYMPIA — House Democrats unveiled a transportation revenue package Wednesday that would raise $9.8 billion over the next decade with the help of a 10-cent bump in the gas tax, a new annual car tab fee pegged at 0.7 percent of the vehicle’s value and over $3 billion in new bonds.

Also included is a new $25 fee on bicycles sold for at least $500, which is expected to bring in $1 million over the next ten years.

The plan, dubbed Connecting Washington, was introduced Wednesday by Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, who is chairwoman of the House Transportation Committee.

“The Connecting Washington package will link the communities of our state to each other and to the rest of the world,” said Clibborn in a statement. “From the child going to school each day to the farmer whose crops travel through our ports to markets abroad, this package is about the infrastructure and jobs that will bring Washingtonians together.”

Also included in the package is nearly $900 million raised from a 0.3 percent hike in the hazardous substance tax and almost $200 million generated from new county auditor fees of $5 for vehicle tab renewals and $12 for title transfers.

In addition to $1 billion for both the state and local governments to maintain infrastructure, the package is meant to fund about $3 billion to help pay for new and existing road projects.

Included in that amount is $1 billion for connecting State Routes 167 and 512 to Interstate 5 near Tacoma, $450 million to complete the Columbia River Crossing and several hundred million dollars to extend the Interstate 405 HOT lanes from Bellevue to Renton in both directions.

Not included in the list of projects to be funded through the package is the Alaskan Way Viaduct tunnel replacement in Seattle.

If all the projects are fully funded — and many of the projects will require more money, likely from the federal government — House Democrats estimate the proposal would create 56,000 jobs.

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