WSDOT released a new forecast of gas tax revenue based on a new forecast of how much people are likely to drive in the future. Less.
There are a lot of factors that drive this change, and you can read more about them on Sightline, The Seattle Times, or the actual wonky report itself, published by the Office of Financial Management.
This is a major change in how we look at the future, and will have big implications. Basically, raising the gas tax by a penny will get you a lot less revenue. Of course, you won’t have to build as much highway infrastructure if it’s true, so maybe that will work itself out. I think the uncertainty leads us to depend less on borrowing against the projected revenue stream. If we were to increase the gas tax and not borrow against the new stream of revenue we would build fewer projects at the beginning, but have more flexibility in the future to respond when we see how drivers really behave.
Changes my thinking some about how we should build a transportation package and what should be in it.