Rep. Michelle Caldier votes “no” on gas tax package

Early July 1, the House of Representatives voted on a $16.8 billion transportation tax package to increase the gas tax by nearly 12 cents a gallon and raise annual car tab fees by $15.

Rep. Michelle Caldier, R-Port Orchard, voted against the package, saying she has concerns with the financial burden on commuters and those on fixed incomes.

“While I appreciate the hard work of the Senate to pass some reforms to our state transportation department, I remain concerned about the size of this package and the burden on the people I represent,” said Caldier, R-Port Orchard. “After working with the nursing home and senior population, I have seen the struggle of those on a fixed income. They simply can't bear this added cost for their transportation to medical appointments and other necessities.”

“This vote was something I considered very carefully. I have listened to the people I represent. Some have reminded me of the economic benefits of improving infrastructure. Many have told me how this gas tax increase would affect their ability to pay their bills. I have weighed both sides and my greatest concern is that the reforms don't go far enough to earn the public's trust, and that this package is too much right now,” she added.

Caldier also supported a proposed amendment to allow the package to go to a vote of the people with a referendum. It failed. If the governor signs the bill, drivers will begin paying the first 7 cents of the state gas tax increase at the pump on Aug. 1.

Two other related bills, providing the bonds to back the tax package, and describing which projects across the state would be funded with the tax package, have yet to pass the Legislature.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov