Washington state legislators propose tax on Oregon drivers’ fuel

The 400-mile Olympic Pipeline carries gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from refineries in northern Washington state, such as BP Cherry Point shown here, to a distribution hub in Portland, Oregon.

Democrats in charge of the Washington Legislature are proposing a new tax on gasoline and diesel fuel destined for Oregon, Idaho and Alaska to partially pay for a cornucopia of highway, transit, rail, bike trail and ferry construction across Washington state. The “exported fuel tax” was included in a transportation spending and revenue package unveiled Tuesday in Olympia. …

The proposed export fuel tax rate is 6 cents per gallon at the wholesale level and would take effect next February. …

Oregon state Sen. Lee Beyer, a Democrat and co-chair of the state’s Joint Transportation Committee, said Tuesday that he’d heard Washington was considering floating an export tax.

“I have questions about the constitutionality of the proposal,” Beyer said in a text message. “I suppose if enacted, Oregon will look at ways to retaliate.”

The Oregon Trucking Associations and Oregon Fuels Association, a gas station and distributors group, had similarly dubious initial reactions. …

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