GOP legislators accuse Democrats of blocking car tab relief
Sound Transit 3 passed over a year ago, but the fight in the Legislature continues to drag on.
Voters agreed to increase their car-tab fees in order to pay for another round of light rail expansion back in 2016, but last spring drivers started to notice their fees increased much more than they expected. The outcry led to a whole slew of bills proposed in Olympia, but so far only a Democratic bill has made much headway.
Republicans in the state Legislature, like Rep. Mark Harmsworth of Mill Creek, aren’t satisfied.
“I call it the itsy-bitsy relief bill,” Harmsworth told 770 KTTH’s Jason Rantz.
Last week, HB 2201 made it’s way through the House. If passed it would reduce car-tab fees by altering the way they are calculated. Approximately $780 million would also be returned to taxpayers.
Harmsworth is proposing a bill to take things even further. He wants to fix the valuation system so drivers are only paying taxes on what their cars are actually worth. He wants to cut car-tab fees by 55 percent on top of that.
With Democrats in control of both the House and the Senate it’s unlikely the bill will survive.
“There’s a lot of special interest groups, particularly in the transit area, that are putting pressure on the Democrats not to pass anything,” Harmsworth said. “They don’t want to see their beloved agency Sound Transit lose any of its money.”
“We’re continuing to work to try to push these through, to get hearings, to get public awareness up,” Harmsworth added. “At the end of the day, it’s up to the committee chairs and the leadership in both the House and the Senate to take these bills and move them on.”