December 19, 2016
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Other News

State begins pilot pay-by-the-mile plan as possible alternative to gas tax

The gas tax revenue that pays for Washington's highway improvement and maintenance is facing a declining future as cars become more fuel-efficient. To ensure that electric and hybrid car drivers also contribute to the highway system, Washington will begin testing a pay-by-the-mile pilot project next fall.

The state is recruiting 2,000 volunteer drivers from across the state to be part of the year-long trial.

Washington drivers currently pay 49.4 cents per gallon. With an average Washington vehicle getting 20.5 miles per gallon, that means drivers pay about 2.4 cents a mile for major highway projects and maintenance. However, the average fuel economy for vehicles in forecast to increase to at least 35 miles per gallon by 2035, meaning drivers will pay 1.4 cents per mile for upkeep of the transportation system.

"That's good for the environment, but not good for transportation funding," state Transportation Commission Executive Director Rema Griffith said.

Participants in the pilot program will still pay the gas tax, but will also report their mileage in various ways. The information gleaned will help lawmakers decide whether and how to implement road usage fees. Legislative action is at least three years out.

The Puget Sound Business Journal and The Olympian have more.

« Back to Main
Sustainability in Action

Aslan Brewing Company: Refreshing Environmental Success

By Washington Business magazine

Taking beer and building to a new, sustainable level, a craft brewer demonstrates how a time-honored cold beverage can take the edge off the climate.

With a commitment to organic ingredients, locally-sourced goods, and low-impact practices, the owners offer the community something new and refreshing, the sustainable way .
Read the full article in Washington Business magazine
Workforce Matters

We must train next generation for the jobs Washington is creating

By Amy Morrison Goings and Gary Oertli

In these politically stressful times, there's one priority everyone can agree on: putting people to work in Washington. People need great jobs just as employers need great talent.

The most recent proof comes in the form of research by the Boston Consulting Group and the Washington Roundtable. The report projects there will be 740,000 job openings in Washington over the next five years. Most of those openings will be filled by people who have postsecondary education or training.

The jobs range from entry-level positions, to "pathway" jobs that then lead to well-paying careers. Many positions require not just a high school diploma and not necessarily a bachelor's degree, but somewhere in between -- such as an associate degree, or a certificate backed by industry need, or an apprenticeship. Others require a bachelor's degree or higher.

That's why it's so important for the Legislature to fund the entire pipeline of education in Washington, from pre-kindergarten through college. At the center of that pipeline is Washington's community and technical college system.
Read the full op-ed in The Puget Sound Business Journal
Upcoming Events