O’Ban car-tab fee bills among those being heard in Senate Transportation Committee

Listen to the people: Enact I-976, pull Pierce County from Sound Transit light rail


OLYMPIA…Two bills sponsored by Sen. Steve O’Ban as part of his ongoing effort to provide relief from reckless and exorbitant car-tab fees will be heard in the Washington State Senate Transportation Committee meeting Tuesday. The two bills are Senate Bill 6108 and Senate Bill 6245.

The hearing is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 4 in Senate Hearing Room 1 of the John A. Cherberg building on the Capitol campus in Olympia.

O’Ban, R-Pierce County, has been fighting for three years to provide relief to residents who have been unwillingly subjected to car-tab fees that support the Sound Transit Light Rail project known as ST3. Despite his warnings that citizens would take matters into their own hands if the Legislature didn’t fix the valuation schedule used to determine the higher car-tab fees, Seattle Democrats in the Senate protected Sound Transit’s interests. As a result, Washington citizens passed I-976, better known as the ‘$30 car-tab initiative,’ by more than 66 percent in Pierce County in November. Some counties passed the measure by more than 70 percent.

SB 6245 would codify I-976, enacting the $30 car tabs voters demanded. It would also backfill revenue lost from lower car-tab fees by redirecting to transportation funding the sales tax revenue from automobile sales.

SB 6108, which O’Ban refers to as #SoundTrexit, would exempt Pierce County from ST3.

“My constituents didn’t want ST3 and they’re angry at how much their car tabs , property taxes , and sales taxes have skyrocketed as a result. They need and want relief. Let’s give it to them,” said O’Ban. “Instead, let’s fund expansive bus rapid transit, and increased express service to and from Seattle and other locations in the Puget Sound area. Flexible transit would have far more impact in Pierce County than fixed light rail ever would. That’s a much more practical solution for my constituents.”

In addition to O’Ban’s bills, the Senate Transportation Committee is also scheduled to hear Senate Bill 6066, sponsored by a Seattle-area Democrat, which would repeal I-976.

“It’s the ultimate insult to voters to repeal their wishes because you think you know better than they do,” said O’Ban. “We work for the them. Not the other way around.”

You can watch coverage of the hearing on TVW.