An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Regional News

Proposed fuel export tax in Washington legislature has caught the attention of Idaho legislators

Idaho State House chambers
Courtesy of Idaho state legislature
/
The Idaho House may soon debate a memorial criticizing a proposed fuel export tax in Washington.

Idaho Republican leaders call on Inslee to veto the proposal if it gets to his desk.

Washington’s legislature is moving ahead with an ambitious new list of transportation projects and revenue sources to pay for them. That work has caught the attention of Idaho legislators.

Sponsors of the $16 billion Move Ahead Washington project are proposing a six-cent-a-gallon tax on fuel exported to other states, such as Idaho and Oregon. Drivers in those states would pay more at the pump, something that rankles Idaho state Rep. Megan Blanksma (R-Hammett). She’s sponsoring a measure that would send a message to Idaho’s neighbor to the west.

“This basically urges the governor to veto if it comes to his desk and to speak out against it," Blanksma told members of the House State Affairs Committee on Monday.

Governor Brad Little has issued a statement urging Washington’s governor to veto the tax. Oregon Governor Kate Brown has also spoken out against it.

Blanksma calls the measure unconstitutional, a violation of the federal commerce clause. The memorial was approved unanimously Monday by the State Affairs Committee.

The transportation plan has been approved by the Washington Senate and sent to the state House. Its sponsors also propose a variety of other tax and fee increases and to pull money from the state surplus.