Inslee proposes transportation plan with carbon tax

  • By Jerry Cornfield
  • Tuesday, December 16, 2014 11:18am
  • Local News

Gov. Jay Inslee unveiled a 12-year, $12 billion transportation proposal Tuesday that would be paid for with an array of fees and a new carbon pollution charge rather than a higher gas tax.

Of the total, $5.9 million is earmarked for highway projects, according to materials released by the governor’s office.

Another $2.9 million would be spent on maintenance and preservation of existing roads and bridges and $2.2 billion for transit service and environmental programs.

An overview of the list of projects and programs can be found here.

Without a new transportation package “our state is going to erode. Our economy is going to decline,” he said. “We are not going to accept a second class transportation system for a first-class state.”

The carbon pollution charge, which will be one of the most debated pieces of the proposal, would generate about as much as a 12-cent hike in the gas tax, Inslee said at a news conference. About 130 industrial firms will ultimately pay the fee, Inslee said.

“This is a new idea and like any new idea we will spend a lot of time talking about the intricacies of this idea,” he said.

Then he said Washington won’t be a trailblazer because eight northeast states and California already operate similar programs.

Transportation funding has been one of the most debated issues in Inslee’s tenure and Tuesday marked the first time the governor had put forth a comprehensive plan.

In 2013, House Democrats narrowly passed a $10 billion package with a 10-cent hike in the gas tax but the Republican-led majority in the state Senate refused to vote on it.

The caucus countered with a $12.3 billion package with a gas tax increase of 11.5 cents but didn’t vote on its own offering before the Legislature adjourned.

Last winter Inslee and leaders of the House and Senate transportation committees in both parties tried to negotiate an agreement before lawmakers began the 2014 session but came up short.

Talks broke down over what reforms to pursue. Republicans pushed for such things as a speedier permitting process and diversion of sales tax receipts on new construction projects away from the general fund where they now go and into the transportation budget.

Democrats strongly objected to such a shift because they say those dollars will come out of the pot used to pay for education, health care and social service programs.

Inslee’s proposal calls for two of the Republican ideas – faster permitting and retaining sales tax paid on new construction projects in the transportation budget rather than the general fund.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
On I-5 in Everett, traffic nightmare is reminder we’re ‘very vulnerable’

After a police shooting shut down the freeway, commutes turned into all-night affairs. It was just a hint of what could be in a widespread disaster.

Anthony Brock performs at Artisans PNW during the first day of the Fisherman’s Village Music Fest on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At downtown Everett musical festival: ‘Be weird and dance with us’

In its first night, Fisherman’s Village brought together people who “might not normally be in the same room together” — with big acts still to come.

Two troopers place a photo of slain Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Gadd outside District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Judge reduces bail for driver accused of killing Marysville trooper

After hearing from Raul Benitez Santana’s family, a judge decreased bail to $100,000. A deputy prosecutor said he was “very disappointed.”

Community Transit leaders, from left, Chief Communications Officer Geoff Patrick, Zero-Emissions Program Manager Jay Heim, PIO Monica Spain, Director of Maintenance Mike Swehla and CEO Ric Ilgenfritz stand in front of Community Transit’s hydrogen-powered bus on Monday, May 13, 2024, at the Community Transit Operations Base in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New hydrogen, electric buses get trial run in Snohomish County

As part of a zero-emission pilot program from Community Transit, the hydrogen bus will be the first in the Puget Sound area.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Video: Man charged at trooper, shouting ‘Who’s the boss?’ before shooting

The deadly shooting shut down northbound I-5 near Everett for hours. Neither the trooper nor the deceased had been identified as of Friday.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Road rage, fatal police shooting along I-5 blocks traffic near Everett

An attack on road workers preceded a report of shots fired Thursday, snarling freeway traffic in the region for hours.

The Port of Everett and Everett Marina on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Is Port of Everett’s proposed expansion a ‘stealth tax?’ Judge says no

A Snohomish resident lost a battle in court this week protesting what he believes is a misleading measure from the Port of Everett.

Pablo Garduno and the team at Barbacoa Judith’s churn out pit-roasted lamb tacos by the dozen at the Hidden Gems Weekend Market on Sunday, April 28, 2024, at Boom City in Tulalip, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Eating our way through Tulalip’s Hidden Gems weekend market

Don’t miss the pupusas, pit-roasted lamb tacos, elotes and even produce for your next meal.

Reed Macdonald, magniX CEO. Photo: magniX
Everett-based magniX appoints longtime aerospace exec as new CEO

Reed Macdonald will take the helm at a pivotal time for the company that builds electric motors for airplanes.

A guitarist keeps rhythm during Lovely Color’s set on the opening night of Fisherman’s Village on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Black Lab in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
No matter what music you’re into, Fisherman’s Village has a hook for you

From folk to psychedelic pop to hip-hop, here’s a quick guide to artists you might want to check out in downtown Everett.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.