Washington Gas Tax Up 1.5 Cents Tuesday To 37.5 Cents A Gallon

OLYMPIA (AP) — Starting Tuesday, the gasoline tax has gone up a penny-and-a-half to 37.5 cents a gallon in Washington.

A state Department of Licensing spokesman, Brad Benfield, says Tuesday’s hike is the last step of a 9.5 cent increase that has been phased in since 2005. It was approved by the Legislature to help fund nearly 300 projects over 16 years.

Those projects include the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Highway 520 floating bridge in Seattle. Other projects include more bridge repairs, reducing congesting, making highway safety improvements, and improving freight mobility.

The Washington Department of Transportation paused to take stock of how these projects are progressing in light of the final installment. According to a post on their website
, “As of June 30, WSDOT has successfully delivered 148 of the 391 projects funded by the 2003 and 2005 revenue increases.”

They say that the projects made possible by the tax hikes, “have made highways safer, eliminated bottlenecks and chokepoints and preserved an aging transportation infrastructure.”

While some Washingtonians have suggested that the timing of the last gas hike is inopportune to the point that it should be suspended, Bensfield says that with prices escalating as they are the final hike will be absorbed rather seamlessly. He suggests the tax increase is “not going to be real noticeable” because it’s a diminishing component of the overall price.

Washington has one of the highest gas tax rates in the country, behind only four other states. Added to an 18 cent federal tax, Washington drivers pay almost 56 cents in taxes.

California drivers pay the most in the Union at nearly $0.64 per gallon, while Alaska is the cheapest at $0.26 a gallon. To view a state-by-state breakdown, click here