2 GOP lawmakers propose gas price relief checks to WA drivers

By on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

OLYMPIA – Washington State House Republicans have a plan to provide gas price relief to drivers in the 2024 legislative session. Called the carbon auction relief payment program, the proposal by Rep. April Connors (R-Kennewick) would send excess revenue from the carbon tax to vehicle owners in the form of a check.

“We’re hoping that those overages could be, when you renew your car tab the next year, up to $250 per registered vehicle or up to $500 a family,” Connors said.

Since taking effect in January, the state has collected far more from cap-and-trade auctions than anticipated. Businesses have passed those new costs to consumers in the form of higher gas prices. Rep. Mary Dye (R-Pomeroy) said it’s wrong for the carbon tax to enrich state government on the backs of Washington families.

“It’s your money,” Dye said. “It’s just not right that agencies and policymakers spend that money. This money needs to go back to the people who’ve earned it.”

Connors’ proposal wouldn’t change efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It would simply use the excess carbon auction profits to provide relief to struggling Washington families.