Washington 90% of Transportation Funds Spent on Roads Act, Initiative 745 (2000)

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The Washington 90% of Transportation Funds Spent on Roads Initiative, also known as Initiative Measure 745, was on the November 7, 2000 election ballot as an Initiative to the People in Washington, where it was defeated. This initiative would have required that 90% of transportation funds be spent constructing and maintaining roads and would have exempted road construction from sales tax.

Election results

Washington Initiative 745 (2000)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No1,394,38759.34%
Yes 955,329 40.66%

Election results via the Washington Secretary of State.[1]

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:[2]

Shall 90°/o of transportation funds, including transit taxes, be spent for roads; transportation agency performance audits required; and road construction and maintenance be sales tax-exempt?[3]

Support

Arguments in favor

These arguments in support appeared in the official State of Washington Voter Guide:[4]

SINCE 1986, WASHINGTON'S BUILT ONLY 47 NEW MILES OF ROADS WHILE POPULATION CONTINUED TO INCREASE

We have the 3rd worst traffic congestion in the country because road capacity has not kept pace with population growth.

I-745'S FUNDING FORMULA (90% FOR ROADS, 10% FOR ALTERNATIVES) MATCHES HOW PEOPLE ACTUALLY GET AROUND

Cars and trucks account for 94.6% of all transportation trips- alternatives, like buses, account for just 5.4%. The Office of Financial Management estimates we currently spend 70% of our transportation taxes on roads and 30% for alternatives. They spend 70% of your money on some- thing you use 95% of the time! The vast majority of us need the freedom and flexibility only a vehicle can provide - I-745 simply requires lawmakers to allocate our taxes based on reality. But this doesn't mean we abandon people who need transportation assistance. Under I-745, alternative modes of transportation will continue to receive substantial funding totaling $1 billion every two years. I-745 is exclusively a transportation initiative - it doesn't affect funding for schools, police, or other non-transportation programs. I-745 won't raise your taxes - sufficient tax revenues exist, including Washington's $1 billion tax surplus, to reach the 90-10 ratio required under I-745.

A RESPECTED STUDY SHOWS ADDING JUST 4% TO OUR ROADS WOULD DECREASE TRAFFIC CONGESTION 25%

By widening arterials, installing efficient on-and-off ramps, and increasing road capacity at our major bottlenecks, we can solve our traffic problems and improve Washington's air quality. Its not that we can t fix these problems, we simply haven't tried.

I-745 WILL FINALLY ADDRESS WASHINGTON'S EVER-RISING TRANSPORTATION ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS (4TH HIGHEST IN THE NATION)

Transportation agencies' performance is currently not measured. 1-745 enables our State Auditor to see if our transportation dollars are being spent effectively. This will ensure accountability and efficiency. More than 270,000 citizens signed 1-745. Please join them and vote "Yes" and let's get Washington moving again. For more information, call 425.493.8707 or visit ' www.i-745.org.

Rebuttal of Statement Against

With continued increases in population, expanding our road capacity is the only cost-effective way to solve our traffic congestion problems. I-745 doesn't abandon alternatives, like buses (they'll continue to get $1 billion. every two years). I-745 simply requires spending to match usage, meaning most transportation spending will go toward critical infrastructure that benefits everyone (road construction, maintenance, lane extensions, bridges, car-carrying ferries, arterials, on-and-off ramps). I-745 ensures better roads and long-overdue performance audits. Vote "Yes."[3]

Supporters

The following individuals signed the argument in support of Initiative 745 in the State of Washington's official voter guide:

  • Tim Eyman, anti-tax advocate
  • Monte Benham
  • Jack Fagan
  • Ann Bender
  • Bob Henkel
  • Andre' Garin

Opposition

Arguments against

These arguments in opposition appeared in the official State of Washington Voter Guide:[5]

WASHINGTON STATE HAS A TRAFFIC PROBLEM- I-745 WILL NOT SOLVE IT. I-745 WILL MAKE IT WORSE.

I-745's 90% for roads is a "one-size-fits all" solution to our state transportation problems that will not work. Real traffic solutions require providing people with choices that include both good roads and good public transportation, including buses, ferries, and rail. Roads are important, but taking the money away from public transportation to fund them will only make traffic worse.

WE NEED CHOICES. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE SOLUTION FOR MANY AREAS.

I-745 dictates that 90% of all transportation funds go to one solution - roads. It also puts politicians and bureaucrats in Olympia in the driver's seat - giving them control of our local transportation funding. I-745 limits our options. If roads are the only transportation priority, other choices like transit will be severely cut. With less public transportation more people will be forced to drive, putting even more cars on the road. Seniors, disabled people, and those unable to drive will lose their ability to get around.

LOCAL CONTROL IS NEEDED TO SOLVE TRANSPORTATION PROBLEMS- I-745 TAKES AWAY LOCAL CONTROL.

Recently voters in Grays Harbor, Clallam and Island Counties have voted to support public transit as a choice in their community. I-745 would send that money- along with other locally approved funds from around the state - to the State Legislature, to be spent on roads. The will of the voters in those communities would be ignored.

WHO REALLY BENEFITS FROM PASSAGE OF 1-745? ASPHALT PAVING COMPANIES- NOT US.

"Washington Citizens for Congestion Relief" was founded by the Asphalt Paving Association of Washington. With help from oil companies, they paid over half a million dollars to buy signatures to get 1-745 on the ballot. They will make millions and we will still be stuck in traffic. For more information, call 206.343.4491 or visit www.No745.org.

Rebuttal of Statement For

Asphalt pavers bought the signatures to put 1-7 45 on the ballot. Their campaign and their studies make claims that are misleading and inaccurate. Washington's transportation problems need a solution that includes both road improvements and transportation choices for local communities. 1-745's requirement that all transportation funding be split 90%-10% does not allow us to maintain real transportation choices. That's why seniors, business, churches, labor, the disabled, and conservation groups, recommend voting No on 745.[3]

Opponents

The following individuals signed the argument in opposition of Initiative 745 in the State of Washington's official voter guide:

  • Elizabeth Pierini, President, League of Women Voters of Washington
  • Stephanie Solien, Board Chair, Washington Conservation Voters
  • Will Parry, President, Puget Sound Council of Senior Citizens
  • Louise Miller, King County Council
  • Rick Bender, President, Washington State Labor Council
  • Roger Bergh, President, Washington State Good Roads & Transportation Association

Path to the ballot

Initiative 745 was filed on May 3, 2000 by Tim Eyman of Mukilteo. 274,490 signatures were collected to qualify it for the ballot. The measure was placed on the ballot as provided for by the state constitution.[6]

See also

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External links

References