WA Dems Ignore Complaints About Out-Of-State Gas Tax

The 400-mile Olympic Pipeline carries gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from refineries in northern Washington state.
The 400-mile Olympic Pipeline carries gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from refineries in northern Washington state, such as BP Cherry Point shown here, to a distribution hub in Portland, Oregon. CREDIT: Tom Banse

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Majority Democrats in the Washington Legislature appear unbowed by complaints from Oregon, Idaho and Alaska over a targeted new fuel tax. The proposed tax would be on gasoline and diesel exported to neighboring states from Washington refineries. 

The proposed 6 cents per gallon exported fuel tax would raise two billion dollars over 16 years from out-of-state drivers to pay for a range of transportation infrastructure inside Washington. The tax proposal has stoked bipartisan anger and threats of retaliation in recent days from politicians in Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

Sympathetic Republicans in the Washington Legislature tried for a third time on Tuesday to strip the offending tax out of the larger transportation spending and revenue package. 

“We certainly don’t want to get into a trade war or lengthy litigation that would otherwise diminish our ability to move forward,” said State Rep. Eric Robertson.

But the tax on vehicle fuel delivered out of state stays in the larger package for now. The vote in the House committee to keep it was close though, 15-14. 

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The 400-mile Olympic Pipeline carries gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from refineries in northern Washington state.

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