$30 Car Tabs Not Dead…Just Yet. Legislators Will File Bill
Senator Steve O'Ban, who represents the 28th Legislative District (R-Pierce County) reacted strongly Thursday to the State Supreme Court's decision to strike down the $30 car tabs. His statement read in part:
“Pierce County and the voters in my district voted overwhelmingly for I-976. My constituents don’t believe light rail will benefit them, just Seattle. I am deeply disappointed that the court ignored taxpayers, rejected the holding of the lower court, and struck down the voter approved I-976,”
His comments have already been echoed across the state. O' Ban and other GOP legislators have been challenging Sound Transit ever since the passage of the ST3 plan by voters in 2016. O' Ban says ST is overstepping it's taxing authority, and car tabs are playing too big a part in their financing.
The ST3 is an ambitious plan to use light rail, buses (many electric) and other public transportation to create links between 16-20 cities and other areas in the Puget Sound corridor. However, the financing has seen car and vehicle tab fees double, even triple for some forms of transportation.
O' Ban plans to introduce a legislative bill that would essentially permanently make tabs $30. He said this about the issue and the legislation:
“I am announcing today, new legislation to enact the will of the people and make $30 car tabs a reality. If we fail to act, voters will believe--and who can blame them?--that government doesn’t care and doesn’t listen to them after they have clearly spoken through the initiative process. Voters deserve car tab tax relief, and they deserve leaders who will listen to them. I will do everything in my power to see that they get the relief they voted for and deserve.”
What happens November 3 will affect the success of this legislation, as Democrats control the state house, and have a razor thin majority in the senate. Tipping a few seats in districts may see the Senate return to the GOP. If it does, we will see a return to the days (perhaps) of The Coalition, where 25 GOP and 3 Democrat Senators torpedoed well over 70% of controversial bills the House and Inslee sent their way.