THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED. SEE NOTES AT END
Senate majority leader Chuck Winder told the GUARDIAN, “ACHD told us they have no plans to charge fees on the heavier vehicles and they have made no effort to seek any legislation.”
When voters learned that rigs above 8,000lbs. were exempt from the current law that has remained in effect, they soundly defeated a proposed 70% fee hike.
The existing ACHD fee structure and exemption for heavyweights can only be removed by voters. Since its unlikely the ACHD board will repeal the current fees, it looks like a referendum may be the only recourse for citizens to seek equity with the damaging big rigs.
If enough signatures are gathered, the repeal could be on the ballot. ACHD in November had publicly claimed they would seek legislation to correct the unfair nature of the law, but urged people to vote in favor of the fee hike anyway.
A source close to ACHD also confirmed Winder’s statement. We even talked to a representative at one of the largest heavyweight fleets in the county who told us the company has a policy of “paying their fair share,” and they would support legislation to allow ACHD to charge the vehicles over 8,000lbs.
UPDATE 5:30p.m. 1-28-19
Here is text of a memo from ACHD Attorney Steven Price to Rep. John Gannon which says ACHD board has supported a fee on trucks, contrary to what Sen. Winder was told by someone else.
“As I indicated this morning, ACHD is very supportive this legislation. I will review the your proposed bill with the Director and the Commission at the Commission’s next meeting. The Commission has been very supportive of a Vehicle Registration Fee for trucks over 8000 lbs.”
EDITOR NOTE–This story has been very difficult to report. We have several versions/conclusions from reliable sources. It appears there is a fair amount of maneuvering between county staff, state staff, elected officials, and trucking industry. We MAY see a bill proposing a flat fee of $75 on trucks being proposed. Even though it is a state issue, only ACHD is affected.
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Jan 28, 2019, 3:36 pm
Is it ACHD’s job to push legislation to fix a problem?
How about if the good senator from District 20 puts together a bill and actually LEADS to get the right thing done?
Jan 28, 2019, 3:41 pm
The trucking industry has all of us bent over and there is nothing we can do but enjoy it. Big truck tear up our roads and highways yet they do not pay their fair share for the damage they inflict on all of our highways and byways. They lobby like crazy for lower ton mile taxes every year or increased load limits. When does this stop!
Jan 28, 2019, 6:55 pm
Easterner.. It may not be their job, but they did commit to doing it. Kent…. Are you here?
Jan 29, 2019, 1:23 am
I just want the overweight and poorly maintained gravel trucks to drive the speed limit or less. There are multiple agencies looking the other way on the local short haul business, not just ACHD.
Jan 29, 2019, 10:39 am
It seems highway funding is at the bottom of the barrel as usual. ITD’s annual funding deficit is now over $500M and growing. It will only become a priority when a bridge or freeway fails. Of course now that Star(Moyle’s District) has huge development plans, watch funding to extend hwy 16 to the freeway become a priority.
Jan 29, 2019, 2:48 pm
Mr. Kangas: Are you suggesting some politicians are more effective at pork barrel dealings than those in adjacent districts? Do you suppose party affiliation is a factor?
Feb 1, 2019, 5:33 pm
The referendum of the people’s populist will always elicits contingency plans to usurp the people’s vote. The double speak is apart of the process.
Dave, keep on snooping and digging. You have the people’s sentiment and ear.