Washingtonians push back on idea of I-5 tolls

Some groups in Oregon also oppose the idea

The Interstate 5 bridge spans the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington states in Vancouver (KOIN, file)
The Interstate 5 bridge spans the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington states in Vancouver (KOIN, file)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — While Oregon lawmakers are pushing for tolls on the Interstate Bridge, many people in Washington are pushing back.

The recently passed Oregon transportation bill directs the state to consider tolls on the I-5 and I-205 corridor, where how to solve congestion has been a contentious issue for years.

Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler is taking the lead on fighting tolls, saying it will hurt working families.

“These aren’t the wealthy people, they can make adjustments, this is the working class,” Herrera Buetler said. “Moms and dads who have no other choice.”

“It’s kinda a struggle for Washington residents because working in Oregon, I already pay Oregon State income tax and I pay Washington sales tax,” Matthew Reynolds said.

Herrera Buetler also said tolls aren’t the issue, but what the money collected would be used for and who would be pay it. She believes most people paying the toll would be Washington residents but the infrastructure projects south of Portland would not benefit those commuters.

In a letter to Governor Jay Inslee, Herrera Buetler and other lawmakers from SW Washington urged against the tolls.

“I think essentially people just wouldn’t go to Portland, we’d find more things to do in Vancouver, downtown is booming,” one Vancouver mom said.