As President Joe Biden is calling for a three month suspension of the federal gas tax of 18.3 cents a gallon, we have two items on how the Governor Jay Inslee and Democrat legislators have severely increased the cost of driving in Washington State.
Yet before we get to those two items, we find it interesting that not even President Biden believes Governor Inslee false argument that government should not reduce/suspend the gas tax because it will not reduce the price we pay at the pump. The governor claims those greedy oil companies will immediately raise the price of gas the amount of the reduced/eliminated gas tax. And in Governor Inslee’s opinion, it is better for greedy government to have that money and not greedy oil companies. We sure hope some member of the media will ask the governor why President Biden believes reducing the national fuel tax will reduce the price of gas while he stubbornly holds onto the false belief that it won’t.
In the coming days and weeks, Washington residents will be forced to pay more for the privilege of driving a vehicle due to two actions by Governor Inslee and the Democrats in the Washington Legislature.
1) When the Democrats passed their $17 billion transportation package during the 2022 legislative session, Senate Democrat Transportation Chair Marko Liias (Edmonds) falsely proclaimed it was done “without punting the cost to working families.” As Washington State’s working families will begin to find out next week, the transportation package legislation (SB 5974) the Democrats passed has significantly increased the cost of dozens of fees which will hurt lower- and moderate- income households the hardest.
Many Washington State families are already struggling financially due to liberal inflationary policies and the skyrocketing price of gas, yet Democrats have ignored their difficulties. Below is the list of additional fees (along with implementation date) that Senator Liias, his fellow Democrat legislators, and Governor Inslee have imposed to make it more expensive to live in Washington State – all while denying they are “punting” the costs to others:
- Enhanced driver’s license fee (6 years) – 75% increase ($24 to $42) (10/1/22)
- Enhanced driver’s license fee (8 years) – 75% increase ($32 to $56) (10/1/22)
- Enhanced Identicard fee (6 years) – 75% increase ($24 to $42) (10/1/22)
- Enhanced Identicard fee (8 years) – 75% increase ($32 to $56) (10/1/22)
- Original license plate fee – 400% increase ($10 to $50) (7/1/22)
- Replacement license plate fee – 200% increase ($10 to $30) (7/1/22)
- Original motorcycle license plate fee – 400% increase ($4 to $20) (7/1/22)
- Replacement motorcycle license plate fee – 200% increase ($4 to $12) (7/1/22)
- Dealer temporary permit fee – 166% increase ($15 to $40) (7/1/22)
- License photo only fee – 100% increase ($10 to $20) (10/1/22)
- Stolen vehicle check fee – 400% increase ($15 to $75) (7/1/22 & 7/1/26)
The 2022 transportation package was the first one passed in state history that was not bi-partisan, as Democrat legislators and Governor Inslee chose to go their own tax-and-fee raising ways. They ignored Republican proposals to use existing surplus revenues and move taxes already collected on the sale of new vehicles into the transportation budget to fund infrastructure construction projects. The Democrats’ transportation package is yet more proof that the Democrats top priority is to selfishly increase the size of state government, despite it already doubling in size during the nine years Governor Inslee has been in office.
2) In new analysis from the respected and non-partisan Washington Research Council (see chart), we have the latest estimates as to how much Governor Inslee’s “Cap and Trade” legislation will increase the cost of gas in the coming months. The research reveals that Washington State residents can expect gas prices to jump an additional 45.6 cents a gallon in the coming months (diesel will increase 57 cents per gallon) due solely to the Cap and Trade legislation (SB 5126) passed by the Democrats in 2021. The analysis finds that in the next 10 years the price of gas will rise 74.1 cents per gallon (diesel will increase 90.5 cents).
The funds collected by the state in from the Cap and Trade legislation are part of the Democrats’ $17 billion transportation package. As House Transportation Committee Ranking Republican Representative Andrew Barkis (Olympia) stated, “It’s disingenuous for the majority party to imply this package isn’t going to raise the cost of living on every Washingtonian. Besides the new taxes and fees that are included, a large portion of the intended revenue comes from the Climate Commitment Act passed in 2021.”
So while President Biden and many states (even those controlled by Democrats) are attempting to help consumers by reducing gas taxes, Governor Inslee and his fellow Democrats in the Washington Legislature not only refuse to reduce/suspend Washington’s 49.4 cents a gallon gas tax, they increase the cost of driving even more by increasing fees and imposing an expensive energy policy which will drive up the cost of gas by an estimated 45.6 cents a gallon more.
This detachment from the hardships people are facing is why Democrats are polling so bad across the state.