America is hurting. Consumer spending is going down. The people of this state are hurting.
One of the problems is the gas tax and it is not the rosy picture the Bellevue Reporter painted in its recent editorial.
The average car is getting less that 22 MPG. It will take years to correct that. The average family drives more than 12,000 miles per year.
We do not just pay 37.5 cent per gallon. Did you forget the federal government puts an additional 18.5 cents on top of the state tax which we should get back in federal highway funds? We also pay excise car taxes and license fees?
So if a family has two cars and drives 16,000 miles in each per year and I think most families would agree that those numbers are pretty reasonable, the real tax paid at the pump is 32,000 miles divided by 22 mpg times 60 cent per gallon is $872. That is real money to a family raising kids.
Only Connecticut, California, New York, Illinois and Michigan have higher gas taxes than Washington.
The energy department tracks gasoline per state. We have been consuming about 7,400.000 gallons per day all grades. We are 19th in the nation in consumption. We are told that by reducing our driving habits have reduced consumption by 10 percent. That would mean we are using approximately 6,700,000 gallons per day. That would give us $1,467,000,000 from the gas tax alone to build roads each year. I don’t think this money is being well spent. We study issues for years before we act. Build roads now.
Here is a good idea. Why don’t we take the one percent that goes for artwork from that money which would give us another $1,467,000 to fix another bridge? What a great Idea.
The state Legislature this year had proposed addition license fees based on MPG. Wow, sounds like a good idea. If you owned a hybrid hold on to your wallet because that tax increase was only going to be $135. The state has decided to hold off on that plan until after elections.
We are in gridlock every day and the current bunch in Olympia doesn’t seem to get it. We are at the tipping point with taxes in this state. We want to see value for our money. Build roads and stop telling us that taxes don’t hurt. They do and it is a lot more than the $225 you claim in your editorial.