How Washington state can transition from the gas tax to road usage charges

In Politics by Michael Rae


For the past 100 years, Washington’s highway network has depended on per-gallon taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel. The gasoline tax was first enacted in neighboring Oregon in 1919, and within a decade it was adopted by all of the then-48 states. Nearly all states dedicated the revenue from these fuel taxes to the construction and maintenance of their roadway systems. Unfortunately, Washington state’s fuel tax has become unsustainable as a long-term revenue source for two reasons.

First, combustion-powered automobiles are becoming more fuel-efficient.

Second, the number of electric and hybrid vehicles is increasing exponentially. The tax has been compared