King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn have sent a letter to Gov. Gregoire asking for an eight cents gas tax increase and for local authority to pass a 1.5 perecent MVET increase to fund transit. 

Here's the letter:

Dear Governor Gregoire:

Seattle, King County, and the Sound Cities Association have worked together to develop a solution to our shared transportation problems. We are writing today to encourage you and the Legislature to take action to help us all begin to solve our statewide transportation crisis by providing local funding options in the coming legislative session in order to preserve and maintain our portion of the State’s transportation system and address the growing demand for transit services.

It is our firm belief that addressing local transportation needs is of critical importance to the economic health and long-term viability of the state’s economy.

King County and its cities have reached consensus on a set of tools that will allow us to address transportation needs at the local level. We are engaging leaders from around the state who support a combination of local funding options in a dialogue about the attached proposal.

The proposal includes an eight cent gas tax increase, 65% of which would go to the state, an increase to $40 of the councilmanic TBD authority, and a 1.5% local Motor Vehicle Excise Tax to be passed councilmanically or by a vote of the people. While King County’s needs are great enough that we seek a 1.5% MVET to sustain transit service and help address the funding gap for roads and other local transportation needs, we anticipate that other counties may prefer for themselves something closer to 1%.

It is our firm belief that addressing local transportation needs is of critical importance to the economic health and long-term viability of the state’s economy. Local jurisdictions play a pivotal role in our state’s transportation portfolio. More than half of all trips in our state are less than three miles long and take place on city and county roads, buses, sidewalks, and trails. We strive daily to maintain aging streets, bridges and drainage systems, under tightly constrained budgets. At the same time, residents are asking us to improve transit services, safety, mobility, and choices within our transportation system while diminishing the adverse impacts of the system on our environment and human health.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to working with you toward the goals that we all share.