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Washington State Gas Tax Recall Effort
An initiative to roll back the recently enacted $8.6 billion gas tax hike has already begun.

Gov. Christine Gregoire
Efforts are underway to roll back the $8.6 billion gas tax hike that Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire (D) recently signed into law. The measure adds 9.5 cents to the price of a gallon of gas already at record high prices.

John Carlson, the Republican nominee for governor in 2000, will begin collecting signatures for a ballot initiative in June. He will have one month to gather the required 225,000 signatures -- a daunting task. Already he has received $90,000 in contributions online and ten thousand have volunteered to circulate his petition. The gas tax repeal website is available at

Although sold as a road-improvement tax, a significant portion of the funds will go to unrelated public spending. For example, $800 million will go to public transportation and rail projects. Three-quarters of the money allocated to Pierce County -- $570 of the $750 million -- will go to HOV carpooling lanes, which a recent study found caused a significant increase in accidents.

Article Excerpt:
``There are a lot of angry people out there,'' said Haugen, who says she's been upbraided at her local supermarket on Camano Island. ``People are so frustrated with the price of gas and they say this just adds insult to injury.''
Source: - Bracing for the gas-tax backlash (Associated Press, 5/15/2005)

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