O’Ban to cosponsor legislation to backfill transportation funding

OLYMPIA…Sen. Steve O’Ban issued the following statement in support of a long-term solution to transportation funding in the wake of I-976 – a solution that will provide a new source of revenue for transportation without creating new taxes.

O’Ban, R-Pierce County, will cosponsor the bill, which would redirect sales tax on vehicle purchases from the operating budget to the transportation budget. The result would be a shift of more than $30 billion over 20 years – nearly twice the value of the transportation funding package legislators passed in 2015 known as “Connecting Washington.”

The shift of revenue from the operating budget to the transportation budget would begin in 2020 and would take 10 years to complete.

“I-976 will leave a gap in the state transportation budget that funds important projects. The will of the voters should be respected. We need alternative solutions that don’t raise taxes — not a lawsuit.

“I have fought the last three years for Sound Transit car-tab relief because people have tremendous tax fatigue. Many are paying Sound Transit car-tab fees two-to five-times higher than they paid previously. That clearly fueled the sentiment behind I-976 in Pierce County. Now that the people have spoken, we need a logical source of revenue tied to vehicles so the projects the people need are funded.

“I’m confident that this bill implements the shift gradually enough that budget writers will have the time to take advantage of expected savings and extraordinary revenue we see in long-term economic projections.”