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Amid new car-tab fees, state rep. fights to keep state honest

"Sticker shock" is not a viable excuse for the public anymore. (MyNorthwest)

The state representative who has fought to remove the tolls from I-405 is trying to reduce the sticker shock related to car-tab fees.

Senator: Colleges are being used as ‘politically-correct batons’

State Rep. Mark Harmsworth introduced a bill that would ensure people are not being overcharged by the Department of Licensing when they go to renew their tabs.

Currently, the DOL bases tab fees on the value of a car, using the MSRP of the vehicle and factoring in the depreciation value.

Harmsworth argues that the “state continues to take you at the higher value rate.”

Under Harmsworth’s bill, the value of a motor vehicle would be “based on base model Kelly Blue Book values, or national automobile dealers association values, whichever is lower.”

“If we’re here, lets value the vehicle correctly,” he said.

For people living in Sound Transit’s taxing district especially, that could make a huge difference when they renew their tabs this year.

Vehicle owners living within Sound Transit taxing districts, which includes areas of King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties will be paying much more for their car tabs. For example, vehicle owners of a car assessed at $10,000 will see the Sound Transit portion of their car-tab fee increase from $30 to $110, The Seattle Times reports. Lumped in with the other fees, such as state weight fee and transportation benefit district fees, drivers could be paying hundreds more.

Find out if you live within the taxing district

Harmsworth told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that he’s seen increases of up to $900.

Listen to Harmsworth’s entire conversation

Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

About the Author

Kipp Robertson

Kipp joined the MyNorthwest.com team in February 2015. He's worked as a reporter in the greater Seattle area since graduating from Western Washington University in 2010. Email Kipp at krobertson@mynorthwest.com

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