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Published on Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Transportation revenue package update – Now is a good time to contact your legislators

Serious discussions of a statewide transportation revenue package are continuing and this is an ideal time to make your voice heard. The Senate conducted a series of transportation forums across the state. City participation was impressive at all ten of the forums and a variety of perspectives were shared with the legislators. Now that the forums have concluded, we understand that there have been several discussions among the Governor, legislative leaders of all four Caucuses, and Transportation Committee chairs to negotiate the details of a transportation investment package and any reforms that would go along with it.

If your city is supportive of a transportation revenue package, this week (before Friday, November 8) would be an ideal time to share your thoughts with your legislators. There is a real possibility that they will come together for a Special Session on transportation funding before the end of 2013. Encourage legislators to develop a bi-partisan transportation package that improves our roads and bridges, helps freight move more seamlessly, provides assistance to our local communities and transit agencies, and fuels our economy and quality of life.

AWC as prepared some transportation talking points with more detail, but important points to touch on from a city perspective are:

  • Direct distribution of any gas tax increase to cities at historical percentages.
  • Enhanced local transportation revenue options (e.g. an increase in the Transportation Benefit District vehicle fee councilmanic authority from $20 to $40).
  • Increased funding for grant programs (e.g. Transportation Improvement Board).
  • Any local projects or needs.

In addition, we are hearing that one of the reform ideas being seriously considered is to divert sales tax paid by the Washington State Department of Transportation on state transportation projects from the state general fund to the state transportation budget. While AWC would likely be unopposed to a diversion of state sales tax, we are very concerned about diversion of local sales tax to be used for state purposes. If this is a concern for your city it mention it in your comments to legislators.

Contact information for legislators:
Email – House, Senate
Phone – House, Senate (And click on any legislators name to get mailing addresses)

Categories: Transportation
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