Washington Vehicle Taxes for Highways, HJR 4 (1944)

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The Washington Vehicle Taxes for Highways Amendment, also known as House Joint Resolution 4, was on the November 7, 1944 ballot in Washington as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure limited revenues from vehicle-related taxes to be used for highways.[1] The measure added Section 40 of Article II of the Washington Constitution.[2]

Election results

Washington HJR 4 (1944)
Approveda Yes 358,581 69.03%

Election results via: Washington Secretary of State

Text of measure

See also: Washington State Constitution, Section 40 of Article II

The language appeared on the ballot as:[1]

Proposed amendment to Article II of the Constitution, by adding a new section to be known as Section 40, limiting exclusively to highway purposes the use of motor vehicle license fees, excise taxes on motor fuels and other revenue intended for highway purposes only; providing for their payment into a special fund of the State Treasury; defining highway purposes; and excepting from its provisions certain other designated fees and taxes.[3]

Constitutional changes

The text of the amendment read:[1]

Text of Section 40:

Highway Funds. All fees collected by the State of Washington as license fees for motor vehicles and all excise taxes collected by the State of Washington on the sale, distribution or use of motor vehicle fuel and all other state revenue intended to be used for highway purposes, shall be paid into the state treasury and placed in a special fund to be used exclusively for highway purposes. Such highway purposes shall be construed to include the following:

(a) The necessary operating, engineering and legal expenses connected with the administration of public highways, county roads and city streets;

(b) The construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, and betterment of public highways, county roads, bridges and city streets; including the cost and expense of (1) acquisition of rights-of-way, (2) installing, maintaining and operating traffic signs and signal lights, (3) policing by the state of public highways, (4) operation of movable span bridges, (5) operation of ferries which are a part of any public highway, county road, or city street;

(c) The payment or refunding of any obligation of the State of Washington, or any political subdivision thereof, for which any of the revenues described in section 1 may have been legally pledged prior to the effective date of this act;

(d) Refunds authorized by law for taxes paid on motor vehicle fuels;

(e) The cost of collection of any revenues described in this section:

Provided, That this section shall not be construed to include revenue from general or special taxes or excises not levied primarily for highway purposes, or apply to vehicle operator's license fees or any excise tax imposed on motor vehicles or the use thereof in lieu of a property tax thereon, or fees for certificates of ownership of motor vehicles.

See also

Suggest a link

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Office of the Secretary of State, "1944 Voters Pamphlet," accessed September 11, 2013
  2. Washington State Legislature, "Washington State Constitution," accessed September 12, 2013
  3. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.