Transportation investments help to create and retain jobs, stimulate the economy, build infrastructure for long-term growth, and improve the quality of life in our state. Washington’s population is projected to increase by more than 28 percent over the next decade, so it will be vital to keep up with growing transportation needs.
Transportation is so important in Washington that it has its own budget dedicated to transportation needs (nearly $10 billion for the 2011-13 biennium), separate from the state’s operating and capital construction budgets. Funding comes largely from user fees, including:
- the state’s gas tax (37 ½ cents a gallon),
- vehicle registration,
- license fees and
- ferry fares.
Our priorities include:
- Making our transportation infrastructure safer.
- Creating a transportation system that provides real traffic congestion relief for businesses and families.
- Supporting Washington’s ferry system, which carries nearly 23 million passengers across our marine highways every year.
- Ensuring continued movement of freight from locations across the state to Pacific Rim seaports in Seattle, Tacoma and Kalama, using roads and rail.
- Holding state agencies accountable and maximizing the value of every tax dollar spent so transportation improvements can be made without massive gas tax hikes and other fee increases.
- Ensure accountability for tax dollars by requiring WSDOT to report engineering errors (House Bill 1986).
- Protecting taxpayers by limiting WSDOT’s tort liability (House Bill 1984) and limiting bond terms for transportation projects to 15 years (House Bill 1989).
- Reduce and/or eliminate unnecessary costs that make transportation projects more expensive, including:
- Stop diverting existing transportation taxes and fees for non-highway purposes.
- Identify and fund specific projects that fix chokepoints, expand highway capacity and reduce traffic congestion.
For more information:
- Read more about our 2013 reforms to “fix it before you fund it” here.
- Sign up for transportation e-mail updates from Rep. Ed Orcutt, our Ranking Republican on transportation issues.
- Follow the activities of the House Transportation Committee.
- Washington State Department of Transportation
- Washington State Ferries
- Washington State Transportation Commission