Governor Signs First Bill of 2024 to Close Fuel Tax Loophole, Boost Road Funding

OLYMPIA – A bipartisan effort to reduce fuel tax evasion and fund critical infrastructure repairs was signed into law by Gov. Inslee this morning. House Bill 1964, sponsored by Rep. Bill Ramos (D-Issaquah), passed both chambers of the legislature almost unanimously and was the first bill of the session to reach the governor’s desk. 

“Unfortunately, a gap exists between the fuel taxes paid at the pump and what some distributors report” said Rep. Ramos. “This bill closes that loophole and ensures bad actors are not stealing the taxes that everyday Washingtonians pay at the gas station.” 

Inspired by successful legislation in Colorado, HB 1964 establishes a dedicated “fuel tax discovery team” within the Department of Licensing. This team will identify and investigate potential violations, similar to Colorado’s program that recovered over $8 million in just six months. 

“Each dollar of revenue this generates is a dollar toward maintaining and improving our infrastructure” said Rep. Ramos. “Every community across our state depends on well-built and safe roads. When we level the playing field and ensure everyone pays their fair share, we help make our transportation system work for all Washingtonians.” 

HB 1964 is the first bill passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor this session. It will take effect on July 1, 2024. The bill signing ceremony can be viewed here or below: