O’Ban: Democrats killed car-tab tax relief during 2018 session

Now that the 2018 legislative session has come to an end without any bills passing to offer car-tab tax relief, Sen. Steve O’Ban, R- University Place, points out that Democrats weren’t serious about offering Sound Transit car-tab tax relief because they never prioritized car-tab relief during the 60-day legislative session.

During the first week of session, O’Ban introduced Senate Bill 6303, which would have cut the tax by 55 percent.

“As soon as the Democrats killed my bill from last session in January, I dropped an identical bill the next day, SB 6303,” said O’Ban. “You can tell the true priority of the majority party by how fast it moves a bill forward. You don’t wait until the very last minute, like the Senate and House Democrats, to consider a bill for final passage, especially a controversial bill with a number of well-known amendments.”

The Senate Democrats, who controlled when a bill came to the floor for final passage this session, waited to pass Senate Bill 5955 until Feb. 28, eight days before the end of the session. Sound Transit supported that bill. It offered meager relief, only about $40 per taxpayer. It received a hearing in the House of Representatives on March 3 and wasn’t brought to the House floor for consideration until the last hours of the 2018 session.

“They’re blaming House Republicans when both Democrats and Republicans offered amendments to SB 5955, but only Democrats controlled the schedule. Car-tab relief was not a priority for Democrats.”

Thursday, March 8, marked the last day of the 60-day legislative session.