Your July 1 Pre-Trip: States consider gas tax increases

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. Legislators in the state of Washington just passed a $1.6 billion transportation measure, which includes an incremental 11.9-cent gas tax increase over the next two years to help fund infrastructure projects, according to Seattle Pi. According to the report, the spending plan would increase the gas tax in two stages – a 7-cent increase on Aug. 1 and a 4.9-cent increase next July 1.

2. A Michigan Senate committee approved a transportation spending plan that would raise the state’s gas tax by  15 cents per gallon, the South Bend Tribune reports. According to the report, the full Senate may vote today. In addition, the Tribune quotes Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) as saying: “We heard the public. They want us to look within (existing revenues). They want us to fix the road problem, and they want us to control the size of government. We’re going to try to do all those things.”

3. California’s gas tax dropped six cents per gallon, according to the Hanford Sentinel. The report states that the state’s Board of Equalization voted in February to lower the tax on gas from 36 cents to 30 cents from July 1 through June 30, 2016. However, according to the report, just because the tax rate goes down, doesn’t mean overall gas prices will drop. And that’s because oil companies have blamed the state’s production and labor problems for the higher cost of gas, The Sentinel said.  

4. Universal Truckload reports that it saw a more stable freight demand and an improved pricing environment during its first quarter, JOC said. According to JOC, the company also reported solid second-quarter demand for intermodal rail service. The report states: “Universal, the 22nd largest truckload carrier ranked by revenue, according to SJ Consulting Group, expects $293 million to $300 million in revenue for the quarter, compared with $307.5 million in the second quarter a year ago $263.6 million in the first quarter of 2015.”

5. Transit drivers in Milwaukee are on strike, reports. The drivers, who walked off the job at 3 this morning, will return to work at 3 a.m. on Saturday, WISN said. Union members rejected the transit system’s latest offer on Monday and voted to strike, WISN said. The union vice president said members are opposed to plans to hire part-time drivers, among other concerns.  

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