Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

ROADS: Toll revenue as a solution for the future

Letter by Gavin A. Kremian, Gig Harbor on Oct. 19, 2011 at 9:19 am with 5 Comments »
October 19, 2011 9:19 am

I don’t think there is much of an argument about the state of some roads in Tacoma. Driving around the potholes can be a dodgy situation. As a resident of Gig Harbor, the low quality of some streets in Tacoma really stands out to me. The toll charged for crossing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge could be a solution for the future.

First and foremost, the toll should be dedicated to paying for the bonds issued to finance the construction of the second bridge. Once the bonds are paid, however, the toll should remain in some fashion and the revenue should be shared regionally. A small toll on vehicles, possibly less than $1, should generate enough revenue to pay for the tolling services and the annual maintenance on both bridges (including painting,) while still generating extra revenue that could be given to regional cities for street budgets.

The dollars could be granted on a matching basis with a set floor. This would prevent the cities from relying entirely on revenue sharing while still increasing maintenance budgets. Better maintained streets are good for consumers and businesses, and the toll’s impact would be more visible to regional residents than road repairs from gasoline taxes.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. PumainTacoma says:

    Tacomans pay the highest property taxes per $1000 assessed value around. We have the highest gas taxes in the nation and we certainly are not under-taxed. Maybe our Gig Harbor friends can try driving on main thoroughfares rather than residential city streets to help us out. The DOT did a major dis-service placing their highway off ramps directly adjacent to city residential roads and not have them directed onto commercial thoroughfare zones.

  2. philichi says:

    We don’t have a revenue problem. Forget the taxes. When you look at the hourly wage that we must pay for public work, it is amazing that we have roads and schools at all. Did you know that we must pay as much as $30 per hour just for a common laboror? It goes up from there. Until all of these pay scales come down to a private sector level, sanity is simply not possible. Every bridge, and school now costs 1/3 more to build and maintain than what the private sector would charge. In other words, we should have 1/3 more roads and schools than we do now.

  3. getmygoat says:

    It’s great that you are so generous with my money. Grants(taxes)are still funds provided by the citizenship of the state. So the people who never cross the Narrows bridge, cross over SR 520 or drive SR 167 never have to contribute to the “fee” according to your plan. If cities do not want to pay to repair/maintain to the roads from the taxes already collected,that is up to the cities to decide. The last thing I want is someone from Seattle/Bellevue spending my money to fix roads I will never drive on. If the cites can not repair/maintain their roads, then they ask the individual taxpayers from their cities for a tax hike. Pretty simple. I love it when people come up with ideas for new taxes and think the government to spend it wisely and for the purpose it was collected for. Can you say lottery.

  4. It seems as if some of the population have a tough time understanding how the toll system really works.The original idea was to subject the commuters to paying off the original bond and when that was satisified,the commuters were off the hook for anymore tolls.This is akin to make the final payment on your home and deciding you miss making payments so you find some way to keep on making payments and hope someone is happy for the added money coming in.The Taxaholics love people that have this attitude.There are quite a lot of the present bridge crossers that will never see the bridge paid off.In fact I don’t believe the Bridge will ever be paid off anyway, as there are those that can’t stand to see that income stop and will make every effort to make sure that money keeps coming in.

  5. Rollo_Tomassi says:

    GetmyGoat –

    “Grants(taxes)are still funds provided by the citizenship of the state. So the people who never cross the Narrows bridge, cross over SR 520 or drive SR 167 never have to contribute to the “fee” according to your plan.”

    Please remember that the Tacoma Narrows voting constituency was 1.1M voters from all over Western Washington. Voters on the peninsulas rejected the toll bridge by as high as an 82% margin. Unfortunately lightly interested voters in Federal Way, Puyallup, Tenino, etc, all got the opportunity to impose a toll road on bridge users.

    So if you voted for the Narrows Bridge toll, don’t wine about having to actually pay something for the tax you imposed on other tax payers.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0