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Proposals would allow cities, counties to hike car tab tax

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eymanOLYMPIA — State lawmakers debated a set of bills Monday that would allow cities and counties to raise the car tab tax for local road and transit projects.

This would be a complement to last week’s $10 billion transportation package proposed by Democrats to finance large statewide projects; part of the funding would come from a 10-cents-per-gallon increase in the gas tax.

Anti-tax crusader Tim Eyman, who got his start with Initiative 695 fighting car tabs, was at the state Capitol on Monday railing against the latest tax plan.

“You keep coming back to this one, as if you just want to kind of prove to the voters that we (state government) can do things that even you guys (voters) don’t like, but we can get away with it because what we are doing is just letting local governments do it,” Eyman said.

The bills being considered would allow local governments to add another $20 to the car tab tax for local road projects, and they would allow King County to raise car tabs even more for bus service.

“We’re facing … a $1 billion backlog of transportation projects,” said Ryan Mello of the Tacoma City Council.

The co-sponsor of the car tab bill is state Rep. Marko Liias, D-Edmonds.  “This would give cities and counties the tools they need to pay for what we call the first and last mile,” said Liias. “The local street that’s in front of your house and connects you to a state highway, that’s a local responsibility,” he said.

Under the proposal, cities and counties could add a $20 fee per car without a public vote for local projects.  And King County would be able to charge an additional .7% vehicle fee for bus service – also without a public vote.

“We have to trust that our city council members and mayors, our county council members across the state, they know what’s best in their community,” said Liias. “They know what they can ask the citizens to take on and when they need the citizens to weigh in.”

Eyman objects to any increases that don’t involve a vote of the public.  “The only thing we are debating here is what’s the money you can automatically take without ever involving the citizenry,” Eyman said.

The bills would allow Pierce and Snohomish counties to raise taxes for bus service as well, but unlike King County, they would have to seek voter approval.  And that’s really because of a technicality more than anything. The way Community Transit is constituted in Snohomish County requires a public vote for a car tab increase.

And Piece County is seeking a sales tax increase for its transit agency. That, too, requires a vote of the people.



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  • jerry

    Hello , I Would just like to say & ask something . Why dont the gov. start cutting their pay checks . Stop getting payd after their turm is done ( Go get a new job and earn it. Stop Taxing Everything we poor people are haveing a hard time just making it !! You wanna tax this , you wanna tax that , You are taxing us to death !!! Thats why our forfathers came to america in the first place . they was being taxed to death.

  • Felcher Uno

    The money is NOT going to fix roads, it is going for bicycle paths and public transit busses and rail and other useless Liberal projects
    I will vote NO because I want the roads fixed with the money we are ALREADY paying. I want rail, bus and bike paths to pay for themselves. The government is getting millions and million off our gas tax and license fees. It is unfair that it is not used for automobile roads………….and we do not need tolls on roads if the money is used properly.

  • Guest

    I think we are witnessing the future.
    Our current "for the people" government is hoping for a time when they don't have to worry about our vote at all.
    It appears to already be here.
    Is this a step towards dictatorship?
    Maybe we eventually won't even be able to vote them out of office.
    The future looks bleak.

  • Jon

    Why do we haft to hash this over ever few years? The public has spoken by voting against higher car tabs in the past and now here it is again!!!!!! If you want to do anything put toll both on the road ways and then if you use the hwy than pay for it! If not than just forget about the taxes. A dime here and a dime there boy will it never stop!

  • Helmont

    Government taxes are regularly increased in every sector, now it i9s going to implement in automobile sector. Hike car tab tax is a positive factor for our economical growth but it is very expensive for a normal human being. I want to say that if all taxes will be increased, the entire phenomenon related to financial condition means value of all products should be increased simultaneously. Then it will be effective.
    Volkswagen Repair San Marino

  • Skiley

    Tax is a process implement by our government to balance our economic condition. In every sector there are different tax paid by people taking place. Regular Hike in tax is not appreciable by people, it creates many disturbances. Basically it takes place in automobile sector.

    Some times it is essential for our government to hike the tax on automobile sector to stop the financial crises.