Spin Control

Road taxes initiative turns in 327,000 names

OLYMPIA -- Initiative 1125 sponsors Tim Eyman and Mike Fagan hold a press conference Friday while Secretary of State Office election workers begin counting their petitions. (Jim Camden)
OLYMPIA -- Initiative 1125 sponsors Tim Eyman and Mike Fagan hold a press conference Friday while Secretary of State Office election workers begin counting their petitions. (Jim Camden)

Initiative sponsors Tim Eyman (right) and Mike Fagan hold a press conference Friday while elections workers begin counting their petitions.

OLYMPIA -- Supporters of an initiative to limit the use of road taxes and tolls dropped off their petitions Friday morning with a comfortable cushion that suggests they'll be on the November ballot.

Sponsors Tim Eyman and Mike Fagan wheeled in boxes of petitions they said held some 327,000 signatures for Initiative 1125, an effort to rein in tolls, taxes and fares and force any increases to be approved by the Legislature.

"These kinds of decisions need to be made by elected officials," Eyman said. Tolls would also come off of different projects when the bonds sold to build them are paid off.

Waiting for Eyman and company were members of a forming coalition against the plan. Former State Transportation Secretary Doug MacDonald called the proposal "a mish mash" of ideas that doesn't understand modern systems of tolling. It could cause problems for plans to enlarge the 520 bridge across Lake Washington by restricting the use of funds from tolls on the I-90 bridge, he said.

Assuming that the cost of a road or bridge stops when the bonds are paid off is like assuming the cost of owning a house stops when the mortgage is paid off, he said; tolls need to continue to pay for ongoing maintenance.




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Legislative and state government reporter, political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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