Hope for a transportation package?

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Supporters of a transportation package should allow themselves a “glimmer of hope” after statewide survey last week showed Washington voters were evenly split over whether taxes should be raised for transportation improvements.

Forty-five percent of those surveyed by the Elway Poll, a nonpartisan pollster, said “we cannot afford to raise taxes for transportation improvements at this time,” while 47 percent said “we cannot afford not to improve the transportation system, so taxes will have to be raised.”

“That is a 16-point net swing since 2013, when 54 percent said we could not afford the taxes needed for transportation improvements and 40 percent said we had to raise taxes to improve the system,” the poll reads.

Attempts to pass a transportation package failed both in 2013 and 2014.

But the glimmer could fade quickly, the poll notes.

When voters were asked specifics about which taxes they would be in favor of raising, the support faded.

Respondents were asked out of four potential tax sources, which they found to be either 1) favorable, 2) acceptable, 3) they were inclined to oppose it or 4) unacceptable.

Only two were considered even “potentially acceptable;
– 70 percent said a carbon tax was acceptable
– 53 percent said it could be acceptable to let counties raise car tabs for local improvements
-62 percent opposed a gas tax
-55 percent opposed a tax on miles travelled

Local organizations including the Clark County Transportation Alliance and the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council are pushing for a transportation revenue package that would benefit Southwest Washington.

– Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or lauren.dake@columbian.com. Follow her on Twitter .

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