Washington State House Democrats


Ramos’ Fuel Tax Evasion Bill is first on way to Governor’s Desk

OLYMPIA – Transportation fuels, like gasoline, keep Washington moving, but Representative Bill Ramos (D-Issaquah) says not everyone in the chain of supply is paying their fair share when it comes to funding crucial infrastructure.

House Bill 1964 passed the House on January 29 and the Senate on February 6, receiving a nearly unanimous vote in both chambers. It is the first piece of legislation this session to head to the Governor’s desk.

Ramos’ measure seeks to crack down on fuel tax evasion and generate an estimated $16 million per biennium for road and bridge improvements.

“Right now, the system relies on an honor system and, unfortunately, some are taking advantage,” said Ramos, highlighting the gap between fuel taxes paid at the pump and those reported by fuel distributors. “This bill is not about raising existing taxes or creating new ones,” he emphasized, “It’s about ensuring everyone contributes their fair share.”

HB 1964 takes inspiration from successful Colorado legislation and would establish a dedicated “fuel tax discovery team” within the Department of Licensing. This team will track and investigate potential violations, which netted Colorado over $8 million in just six months.

“That’s a lot of potholes filled!” said Ramos. “It’s simply not right when some skirt the rules while others foot the bill.”

The bill now heads to the Governor for his signature and enactment.