Washington’s state gas tax – already second-highest in the nation – isn’t providing enough revenue to maintain our roads. So bureaucrats on the state transportation commission are considering a cumbersome, complicated mileage tax to supplement it. Why not legislatively address one major cause of road damage first?
We know who the perpetrators are who commit most of the wanton, willful destruction of this public property: studded tire users. These people get a free ride while non-users have to subsidize their addiction. We’re getting ripped off as much as our roads to pay for it.
There is another tax or fee that would not only be much simpler to administer but would also directly target the cause of road wear and tear. Especially tear. There needs to be an annual payment by studded tire users for abusing our roads.
I would prefer a punitive fee of $200 per vehicle. That would help convince the studded tire addicts to switch to non-studded winter tires. High cigarette taxes convinced many smokers to kick the habit. Tire stores could collect the fee at the beginning of the rutting season.
It’s time to pay up or put up – the studded tires.