The combined tally for state gas taxes is not at 44.5 cents per gallon; the total rises up to 62.9 cents when adding the federal 18.4 cent gas tax. This is way over the national average gas tax of 48.9 cents per gallon, making Washington one of the top 5 states when it comes to the added cost on gasoline.
It is as of yet unknown how this will impact gas prices state-wide exactly, as in Washington taxes are not added directly at the pump but are paid by fuel sellers; though it is almost certain that they will increase prices in response.
What’s even worse news for drivers is that an additional 4.9 cents per gallons will be added on in the summer of 2016, possibly handing them the second highest gas tax in the country after Pennsylvania. Washington also has one of the highest average gas prices around the country at $3.18 per gallon, much more expensive than the $2.67 national average.
However, state authorities find that the increase does have its use; it was part of a series of measures which would see $16 billion collected in revenue from transportation in the following 16 years, to be then used for road infrastructure projects. The infrastructure plan has $8.8 billion allocated for new state-wide and local road projects, while throwing in another $1.4 billion in maintenance, an area in which some think the state has been lacking.
Amongst the planned infrastructure projects which should be funded by the extra tax revenue are a Richland bridge over the Yakima River and overpass on Lewis Street in Pasco. The plan has received a mixed reaction, with some drivers hailing new infrastructure project to help make traffic more fluid, while others fear that this will signify a bigger dent on their monthly budget which ultimately make them use personal vehicles less.
This goes with what appears to become a national trend, as multiple states have already increased their gas taxes this year. This is mostly because revenue has been small due to gas prices going down, with the current $2.67 national average price per gallon being three quarters of a dollar cheaper than in July 2014.
Image Source: Wall Street Journal