It’s crunch time in Olympia as the Legislature is taking action on many fronts that will impact funding for all types of construction. Today’s focus is the Public Works Trust Fund.
A proposal in the State Senate would PERMANENTLY redirect existing funding sources out of the PWTF — endangering dozens of infrastructure projects such as water, sewer, stormwater and some local roads and bridges.
The PWTF provides grants and low-interest loans to local governments for public works projects – many that could not otherwise be financed and built by small communities themselves. Dozens of proposed construction projects — such as the City of Port Orchard Marina Pump Station, City of Omak Sewer System Improvements, and the City of Washougal Stormwater Decant Facility — are in danger should the Legislature adopt a proposal that would gut the Public Works Trust Fund.
In addition to loan repayments—at interest rates ranging from 0.25 to 2 percent per year—the PWTF receives revenue from four state tax sources related to the types of infrastructure aided by the fund: 6.1 percent of the revenue from the real estate excise tax, 20 percent of the revenue from the water utility excise tax, 60 percent of sewerage collection tax revenues, and all the revenue from the state tax on solid waste service.
The State Senate’s budget plan would redirect all of the tax streams — except for two percent of the real estate excise tax — away from the public works trust fund and into other government accounts.
PWTF projects facilitate private economic growth and provide jobs for the hard-hit construction industry which, in turn, supports jobs in industries from material supply to food service and a variety of small businesses. Plus, many of the projects funded by the PWTF protect the environment and improve the quality of life in the state.
Urge your Senator NOT to redirect funding out of the Public Works Trust Fund!