LOCAL NEWS

Lawmakers hit bump in the road en route to car tab relief

Mar 6, 2018, 5:44 PM
Digital license plates, car tabs, car tab relief, car-tab fees, licensing...
(MyNorthwest)
(MyNorthwest)

Car tab relief may take a little longer until lawmakers in Olympia can agree on a solution.

A bill to provide some relief was proposed, but the current legislative session ends on March 8. According to The Everett Herald, Democrats in the House and Senate have opposing views on how to resolve the issue. The House is willing to pass a bill providing car tab relief and find solutions to the revenue shortfall later. But Senate Democrats aren’t interested in creating funding holes. They don’t want to wait to solve a funding shortage.

RELATED: Renter chooses between car fees or rent

“If you’re going to create a $780 million hole, all you will be doing is jeopardizing projects in Snohomish and Pierce County,” Senator Steve Hobbs told the Everett Daily Herald. “I don’t know how I can vote for something that takes away projects from Snohomish County.”

The issue stems from the passage of Sound Transit 3. The voter-approved initiative is funding transit and light rail projects through Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties. ST3 uses an outdated valuation method to inflate a car’s value. Car tabs increased as a result. Changing that method would mean a decrease in revenue.

Voters passed Sound Transit 3 in 2016. Pierce County, however, did not pass the measure. Many voters have since expressed regret once they realized the hike in car tab fees. Many claim they did not know the increase would be so severe or that Sound Transit was proposing to use the outdated method.

One renter told KIRO Radio the fees have gotten so bad that he is now forced to choose between paying for car tabs or paying his rent.

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Lawmakers hit bump in the road en route to car tab relief