Monday, February 02, 2009

Concerning the Imposition of Tolls

As I read this summary of a bill past in 2008 tolls on the Evergreen Point floating bridge could not be used to fund the building of a new bridge. If you tear down your house it's considered new construction and treated very differently than improvements, preservation or maintenance.

Of course it's all a shell game since funding comes from the general fund and not from some "lock box" account for individual projects. At best this bill can mandate a minimum level of spending on a certain area in which the tolls are collected but that's unlikely to be much more than maintenance costs. Then again it provides no guidance as to what time frame the money must be spent so it could be never.

E2SHB 1773 Clibborn, Jarrett (C 122 L 08)
Concerning the Imposition of Tolls - Designates the Legislature as
the only entity with the authority to impose tolls on an eligible toll
facility, unless that authority is otherwise delegated. Requires all
revenue from an eligible toll facility to be used only to improve,
preserve, maintain, manage or operate the eligible toll facility on or
in which it is collected. Creates guidelines and requirements that the
Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) must follow
in determining toll rates. Requires any other entities seeking to
impose tolls to first seek approval from the Legislature for tolls on
state routes and from the WSTC for tolls or changes in tolls that
impact state routes. Requires the Washington State Department of
Transportation to use and administer toll collection systems that are
simple, unified, interoperable, and avoid the use of toll booths and to
set standards for all toll facilities in the state.

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