Initiative activist Tim Eyman's latest offering — if it makes it onto November's ballot and is approved by voters — could bring the tolling plan for the Columbia River Crossing to a screeching halt.
VANCOUVER, Wash. — Initiative activist Tim Eyman’s latest offering — if it makes it onto November’s ballot and is approved by voters — could bring the tolling plan for the Columbia River Crossing to a screeching halt.
Eyman announced recently he’s collecting signatures on Initiative 1125, which would change Washington law to ban peak-hour tolling, a key part of the tolling plan for the Vancouver-Portland crossing. It also would prohibit tolls from being used to pay for anything but highway purposes and require the Legislature to set toll amounts.
I-1125 would eliminate loopholes the state Legislature is attempting to find in the wake of last year’s passing of Eyman’s Initiative 1053, which requires a two-thirds majority for tax increases and a simple majority to increase fees, he said. Since the law passed last year, Eyman said Legislators have been gravitating to fee increases to raise revenue.
He said he believes tolls, a fee, will be raided by lawmakers to pay for any number of things, essentially making them a tax. State law already prevents such a raid, but Eyman said he’s trying to reinforce that law.
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Planners expect $1.1 billion to $1.4 billion of the $3.6 billion bridge and upgrade project to be paid for with tolling.