Eye On Olympia

Or maybe it just helps to be named after a president…

Speaking of the proposed 51st state, a key part of the debate was the fact that rural counties like Ferry get lots more transportation dollars than they put in. From 1984 to 2003, for every dollar in gas tax from Ferry County, $5.08 is spent on roads there. It was $4.27 for Lincoln County, $4.18 for Garfield, and $3.32 for Adams.

So who was paying more than they were getting? Well, sorry, but it's you, Spokane. Spokane County, Clark County and Yakima County each got back only 74 cents for every dollar in gas tax they sent to Olympia. (Poor Whatcom County got a paltry 61 cents.)

When asked to defend this -- and he was, a lot, during the most recent gas tax hike -- former Sen. Jim West used to respond that it doesn't do Spokane motorists much good if the highway turns to a goat trail at the county line.

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