The North Olympic Peninsula receives almost everything by truck.
If Referendum 51 passes, it will mean a 30 percent increase in weight fees for trucks over 10,000 pounds, which local trucking company owners say could increase the price of trucked goods and greatly affect the trucking industry.
The Legislature passed the proposed statewide revenue package with wide bipartisan support. The referendum includes $7.7 billion in highway projects, ferry vessels, transit and rail services, freight mobility projects and other statewide transportation improvements.
The statewide transportation package will be presented to voters on the November ballot.
The 30 percent increase in gross weight fees for trucks over 10,000 pounds would be phased in by two annual increases of 15 percent each on Jan. 1, 2003, and Jan. 1, 2004.
The Washington Trucking Associations Board of Directors voted to take a neutral position regarding Referendum 51, said Jim Tutton, vice president for the organization.
“Some of the fee increase will impact the consumer,” Tutton said. “And the profit margins in the trucking industry are already very, very slim.”
Tutton said the association is sending out information statewide to truckers and trucking owners informing them that it wants each person to decide how they will vote.
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