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Car tabs, sound transit, No on I-976
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Fortunato’s $30 car tabs bill gets hearing, says Inslee’s needlessly delaying projects

(MyNorthwest photo)

There are multiple bills trying to address the passing of $30 car tabs, and this week in Olympia, they got a hearing. One of the bills comes from state Senator Phil Fortunato, a Republican from Auburn and a gubernatorial candidate.

He joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to explain what his bill would do.

“One of my concerns is that I believe 976 is gonna be thrown out for multiple subjects. In order to avoid that, I just said we’re just gonna do a clean, $30 car tab, so that there’s no interpretation that there’s more than one subject and all that,” Fortunato said.

“It doesn’t address the sales tax on rental cars and new car purchases and things like that, because that’s what I believe is going to be the problem, and may throw it out. Because there’s not a connection between $30 car tabs and sales tax on the sale of new cars and rental cars.”

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Voters approved I-976 with 53 percent in favor across Washington state. Just over a week after Election Day, the city of Seattle and King County, among others, filed a lawsuit over I-976, arguing that the initiative violates the state’s constitution.

Is Fortunato’s bill purely because he believes the Supreme Court is going to reject it on the sales tax issue? Or is he implying in this bill that the actual initiative was not properly done?

“I don’t believe the initiative was properly done because it leaves its subject to clearly deal with multiple things, leaving it open to interpretation by the courts, … and they have not been ruling in favor of taxpayers.”

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There is also the issue of whether the bill would function retroactively if it were to get passed, and what drivers could expect as a result.

“My bill was retroactive to December 5 when the people actually voted, so one of the things they mentioned in committee was: ‘Does this give people a refund?’ Well, it doesn’t specifically say that it’s a refund, but if it says that your car tabs are calculated as of December 5 and you overpaid that, they owe you money.”

Is Inslee delaying projects unnecessarily?

Governor Jay Inslee said he’s put money in escrow for this very purpose, but there’s been controversy around that claim.

“This guy just constantly ticks me off. First of all, he’s punishing people by delaying highway projects, costing additional millions of dollars by losing construction season and all this stuff, that actually have nothing to do with the $30 car tab thing,” Fortunato said.

“So he’s delaying projects that are paid for with gas tax revenue … to punish people [that voted] in Spokane and various other places with their projects claiming it has something to do with 976. So I mean the whole escrow thing — who the hell knows what he’s doing with that?”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter.

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