Even if the prices were already higher in Washington, compared to the rest of the country, the 1st of August came with another tax increase, by 7 cents a gallon.
The total gas tax per gallon is now 62.9 cents, consisting of the state gas tax of 44.5 cents and the federal gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon.
There is actually a simple explanation to the increase in price, as it is part of a plan that the Legislature approved of and the governor signed at the beginning of the summer. This extra money is supposed to go into the $16 billion, 16-year transportation package earnings. It is estimated that the this tax will increase by 4.9 cents per gallon next year as well.
Therefore, Washington will have the second-highest gas tax in the United States. The first one is now Pennsylvania, according to the report issued by the American Petroleum Institute.
“Nobody likes to have a tax increase. But we haven’t been as diligent on maintenance and preservation as we’ve needed to be. We need to invest in that to get caught up. If we don’t do it in the next two or three years, those repairs, it’s going to cost us three or four times more,” said Republican Senator Curtis King of Yakima.
It was reported that $ 8.8 billion of the extra money is supposed to be spent on local and road projects, $ 1 billion on non-highway projects like transit, pedestrian walkways and bike paths and around $1.4 billion will be spent on preservation and maintenance.
Even if the residents cannot see the advantages right now, they will be happy with the new projects once they are carried out, even if they will take years to complete, according to Judy Cibborn, who is the House Transportation Committee Chairwoman.
In fact, the National Conference of State Legislature reported that Washington is not the only state that made the decision to increase gas taxes. Utah, Nebraska, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho and South Dakota have done it too and the decreasing trend has been stopped in North Carolina and Kentucky.
Even so, the numbers show that the national average price of gas is still in decline. A gallon of regular gas cost about $ 2.67 on the 31st of July, which is down by 2 cents compared to last week’s prices.
Prices usually fluctuate, so it is possible that Washington drivers might not even feel the increased gas tax. Therefore, it is too soon to tell how dissatisfied people will be with the new measure.
Image Source: wsj