Goehner amendment to study additional revenue options included in House transportation budget

On Friday, the state House of Representatives passed a $10.9 billion bipartisan transportation budget, Senate Bill 5165, that funds the basic needs of Washington state.

Included in the budget is an amendment introduced by Rep. Keith Goehner, R-Dryden, that directs the Washington State Transportation Commission to look at additional revenue options outside of the transportation budget.

“The year-long shutdowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have played a role in the decrease of our transportation funding. However, the reality is the user vehicle and driver-related fees no longer support our transportation system needs. There are public benefits that are currently funded by transportation revenues that have no direct nexus with motor vehicle fees and gas taxes,” said Goehner. “The system faces other challenges such as some modes of transportation generate little revenue, efforts to decarbonize our transportation system are expensive and the tax burden in the transportation budget falls disproportionately on the people who own and drive vehicles.”

Goehner's amendment directs the commission to evaluate agencies, programs and activities funded in the transportation budget that might be more equitably paid for using general fund revenue or other funding sources.

“The amendment ties right into what the commission is tasked with as they perform their duties. They review and assess how the entire transportation system is working across the state, including local and regional transportation needs. This provides us an opportunity to have a more in-depth conversation about creating a resilient and sustainable transportation budget for the future,” added Goehner.

The amendment passed by a vote of 88-1. The transportation budget passed by a vote of 87-11. The House and Senate transportation budget leaders will now work out the differences between the two chambers budgets before voting on a final transportation spending plan.

The legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on Sunday, April 25.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov