Rep. Linda Kochmar votes ‘no’ on transportation tax package

June 27, 2013
CONTACT: Stephanie Davenport, Public Information Officer – (360) 786-7031

Rep. Linda Kochmar votes ‘no’ on transportation tax package

Yesterday, House Bill 1954 addressing transportation funding failed to pass the House. This was a controversial vote for many legislators because the bill included a 10.5-cent state gas tax increase beginning July 1, 2014 to fund projects across the state. This bill could still be considered in the second special session. Rep. Linda Kochmar, R-Federal Way, had this to say about her vote:

“I voted ‘no’ for several reasons. The strongest reason was to protect citizens from an unacceptably high gas tax. Families and residents of my district cannot afford to have government take more from them. Additionally, many residents in the Thirtieth District must commute every day. A gas tax targets people who must travel for work and could cost them significantly each month.

“Some of the transportation improvements included in this bill are important to my district. I gave this decision considerable thought. I wanted to be able to vote ‘yes’ in order to fund completion of SR 167 and 509. However, the way the House proposed to finance these great projects is untenable.

“I could not in good conscience take a vote that would severely impact the daily lives of the hardworking residents who elected me.

“The package needs to be scaled down to an affordable and practical list. We cannot tax our businesses until they are out of business in order to afford an overly ambitious list of projects. Further, in these hard economic times, it is unfair to ask those already living paycheck-to-paycheck to pay for so much.

“I hope that we will see a revised version of a transportation package that will prioritize these projects and ensure accountability, without negative financial consequences for our citizens.”

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