SOURCE: WSA

November 04, 2005 15:33 ET

WSA Board of Directors Opposes Initiative 912

SEATTLE, WA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 4, 2005 -- The WSA, the state's oldest and largest technology trade organization focused on ensuring Washington State's leadership position in the digital economy, today announced that the WSA Board of Directors has voted unanimously to oppose Initiative 912.

Initiative 912 would repeal the state-wide transportation plan passed by bipartisan majorities in Olympia earlier this year. The removal of the nine-and-a-half cents over three years gas tax will result in a loss of 274 road projects for Washington's transportation infrastructure.

The board based its decision on feedback from members that suggests the removal of the gas tax will be costlier to tax payers than the few cents a gallon tax. Without the investment in Washington's roads, bridges and ferries, the loss to productivity will be much greater when key roadways are unusable due to natural disasters or other safety issues. WSA members have stated that Washington's crumbling infrastructure is a factor in the ability to recruit employees, is making commuting difficult for current employees and reduces productivity of those who must travel the state's roads to serve customers.

"A safe and well-maintained transportation infrastructure is key to a growing and viable economy in Washington State," said Eddie Pasatiempo, Senior Vice President of Global Sales at Captaris and Chairman of the WSA Board. "As a Board we work hard to address the underlying issues that support the technology industry and I-912 will hurt the industry."

"WSA members are keenly aware of the need for accountability. That is why the Board voted to oppose I-912, as it requires adherence to strong performance benchmarks," said Kathy Wilcox, CEO of the WSA. The Washington State Department of Transportation has undertaken numerous reforms over the past several years, making it one of, if not the most accountable agency in state government. Out of 13 projects funded by the 2003 nickel gas tax, 12 of those came in on or under budget and schedule.

About the WSA:

Founded in 1984, the WSA (formerly the Washington Software Alliance) is a state-wide trade association focused on helping Washington state technology companies succeed. With more than 1,000 member companies representing more than 50,000 software, Internet, telecommunications and technology company employees, the WSA is a catalyst for setting new industry directions, sharing expertise, delivering key business services, and leading the advocacy of issues necessary to keep Washington a leader in the digital economy. For information, please see www.wsa.org.

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