Bill would block downtown Seattle tolling plan

SEATTLE -- On Tuesday, state Sen. Tim Sheldon introduced legislation to block Seattle's plan to impose tolls on downtown streets.

Senate Bill 5104 would prohibit cities, counties and other local governments from imposing tolls and would establish that tolls can only be imposed by the legislature.

Last year, the city announced its decision to embark on a million-dollar study of "congestion pricing." The idea is to reduce traffic by discouraging driving with toll costs.

Sen. Sheldon says the tolls would disadvantage people with lower incomes and those who don't live in the city.

"To toll existing roadways would really put a burden on those of us that don't live in the city that want to come for medical procedures, educational opportunities, entertainment, whatever it is," Sheldon said. "And pretty soon it will be only those that are very wealthy that can afford to drive into Seattle."