House Democrats Tuesday called for raising the gas tax by 5 cents and then gradually by another 5 cents over a decade and raising a series of fees to pay for roads, ferries and other spending.
The biggest beneficiary would be the so-called Puget Sound Gateway, at $1.27 billion, the amount sought most recently by backers. The project combines an extension of state Route 167 between Puyallup and the Port of Tacoma with an extension of a similarly unfinished stretch of state Route 509 near SeaTac.
Altogether, the statewide plan calls for raising $7.8 billion over a dozen years from the gas tax, weight fees on trucks and cars and registration and title fees. That doesnt count $600 million from fees passed last year. Its House Transportation Chairwoman Judy Clibborns second formal try at a tax proposal this year and is scaled back from her first plan that would have raised more over a 10-year period by including a statewide vehicle excise-tax and other revenue sources.
But it devotes a larger share, $900 million, to maintaining existing roads. Mass transit, local governments, rail, pedestrian routes and ferries would all get shares.
The megaprojects in the package also rely on some $3 billion in tolling, including an estimated $330 million raised for SR 167 and SR 509 by tolling the two new roads and HOT lanes between Seattle and Tacoma.