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Tim Eyman explains latest fight for $30 car tabs

Tim Eyman is campaigning for an initiative to lower all Washington license tabs to $30. (Photos courtesy of Voters Want More Choices)
LISTEN: Tim Eyman leads fight for $30 license tabs

Political activist Tim Eyman is back at the fight to bring car tabs in Washington down to a flat $30.

RELATED: Who deserves blame for the death of car tab relief efforts?

Eyman told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that his new initiative, I-976, needs signatures from 350,000 Washingtonians who want to see their car tabs stay at $30.

“Voters said yes to $30 tabs in 1999, they said it again in 2002, we got car tabs down for about 10 or 15 years or so,” Eyman explained. “But in recent years they’re … shooting back up again and [Sound Transit is] doing this illegal, completely immoral, artificially inflating of the value of our vehicles in order to take more money than they’re really entitled to.”

Eyman pointed out that former Governor Gary Locke had promised back in 2000 that car tabs would not rise above $30. However, the passage of measure’s such as 2016’s $54 billion Sound Transit 3 have seen the cost of tabs rise for Puget Sound residents.

According to Eyman, the initiative will be a second chance for residents who voted for ST3 but were shocked by the price tag upon their next car tab renewal. Eyman stated that “what [Sound Transit] told us during that campaign was just flat-out filled with lies,” and said that this initiative will “show that Sound Transit can be held accountable.”

“Now that [voters] have gotten the bill, now that they know it’s radically higher than what Sound Transit said before the election, now that we have the facts on our side and we know that what they said was a lie … plenty of people want to have a do-over, have another shot at this thing,” Eyman said.

Those eligible to decide on the initiative will not only be the Snohomish, King, and Pierce County voters who approved ST3 but every registered voter across the state.

“This is an initiative where everybody gets to vote … everybody is getting a second chance,” Eyman said.

If the initiative passes, Eyman said, it will represent some relief for the wallets of Puget Sound drivers who already pay so many taxes.

“You’re still gonna pay an enormously high sales tax when you buy the vehicle, you’re still gonna have to pay a huge gas tax when you drive the vehicle, you’re still paying tolls,” he said.

He also pointed out that while I-976 does not forever block the increase of car tab costs as long as the increase is voter-approved, it does prevent the artificial inflation of car values by mandating that the Kelley Blue Book values are used.

“The Legislature isn’t holding [Sound Transit] accountable, their 18-member board isn’t holding them accountable,” Eyman said. “The only chance we have is with a statewide initiative where everybody has a voice in the decision.”

Voters have until the end of December to sign I-976. For more information, visit

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