Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan intends to tax cars and trucks driving into Seattle in order to reduce carbon emissions.
Here's the press release Durkan's office just issued about today's announcement (note the syntax error in the press release headline):
Mayor Durkan to New Bold Actions to Make Seattle a National Leader in Reducing Emissions
New Strategy will focus on Transportation and Building Efficiency
Seattle (April 5) – Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan will announce new bold short- and long-term steps that the City will take to advance towards it’s greenhouse gas reduction goals to reach its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. Transportation and buildings are the leading causes of climate emissions. As part of the strategy to reduce greenhouse gases from transportation and buildings, Mayor Durkan is proposing the development of a congestion pricing strategy to ease mobility through the downtown core, and the creation of more energy efficient and carbon neutral buildings.
The big question for Mayor Durkan is what will be the excuse for the congestion pricing when cars and trucks traveling in to Seattle don't emit any carbon pollution in 10-30 years? How will you justify this tax grab when cars and trucks are non-polluting?
Ironically this tax/tolling system is proposed as the frenzy over affordable housing in Seattle persists. Durkan's congestion pricing scheme will hike the costs for homeowners, renters and landlords who need a plumber, buy groceries, eat at a restaurant, or shop in the city because every delivery truck coming in to the city will be charged to do so and they will pass their costs along to the customers and retailers. Congestion pricing will be inescapable even for city dwellers who don't own a car or never commute into or through the city.
If you think Seattle is a cheap place to live, you will love this plan. If you think Seattle is an exorbitantly expensive place to live you will be justified in thinking its supporters, like Mayor Durkan and almost certainly the Seattle City Council, are greedy. And foolish.
Madame Mayor, we really can't afford this plan to stick to the Paris Climate Agreement.