Local lawmakers leery of roads package

first_imgSeveral state legislators from Clark County remain apprehensive about supporting a transportation plan that would raise gas taxes but include little in projects for Southwest Washington, they told business and community leaders Wednesday morning.Some stressed the need for reforming the state’s transportation system first, so gas tax dollars go further. Others said there simply isn’t enough project money for Clark County in a $12.3 billion transportation proposal being floated in the state Senate. That plan would raise the state gas tax by 11.5 cents per gallon. It would provide just $41.4 million in new state projects in Clark County, and set aside an additional $35 million for local governments in the county to use on their roads.“I’m a no vote until you give me some projects,” Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, told a crowd of more than 100 at a breakfast event hosted by business organizations Identity Clark County, the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce and the Columbia River Economic Development Council.Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, said it is time for legislators to start thinking about other revenue streams for transportation besides an increased gas tax. She said she’s exploring a tax based on vehicle miles driven, but that she wouldn’t want the government to be able to track where a person travels.The panel of legislators also touched on their priorities for the upcoming 60-day legislative session, which begins Jan. 13. Many stressed the need to dedicate more money to education, and to foster business growth by reforming environmental regulations.last_img read more