Transportation solutions

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Implement $30 car tabs

Facts: Nearly 53% of voters supported I-976 in November 2019. Lawsuits are seeking to overturn I-976.

Solutions:

  • House Bill 2227 would limit state and local taxes, fees and other charges relating to vehicles, and establish $30 car tabs.
  • House Bill 2021 would make Sound Transit’s motor vehicle excise tax be based on the Kelley Blue Book.

“Regardless of what some elected officials might think, we are not chosen to be kings. We are elected as public servants. It’s our job to listen and then work hard to find solutions. The voters have clearly spoken on this issue, and the Legislature should honor the will of the people.”

— Rep. Jesse Young, assistant ranking Republican on the House Transportation Committee

Establish permanent preservation and maintenance account — without raising taxes

Fact: In a September 19, 2019, Joint Transportation Committee meeting, Deputy Secretary of Transportation Keith Metcalf said: “…we have an annual funding gap of $690 million” for maintenance and preservation.

Solutions:

  • House Bill 2323 would phase in a shift of state sales tax on motor vehicles to pay for cash-based preservation and maintenance projects in increments of 10% over 10 years. Expected revenue in 2021: $117.5 million
  • House Bill 2285 would make preservation and maintenance a priority for transportation goals.

“Our state needs a stable, permanent transportation funding source. Vehicle sales-tax revenue has a direct nexus to transportation and would not be a new tax burden on Washingtonians. If we implement this reform over time, our operating budget could absorb the change and we would address the preservation and maintenance needs of our transportation system for generations to come.”

— Rep. Drew MacEwen, assistant ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee

Cut WSDOT bureaucracy, not projects

Fact: OFM’s fiscal impact statement for I-976 says it will create a $478 million state revenue shortfall.

Solutions:

  • Cut WSDOT bureaucracy — without cutting projects — by implementing 10% targeted reductions ($269.7 million) in transportation spending. Preservation, maintenance and special needs would not be reduced.
  • Undo governor’s unilateral increase of $100 million for fish barrier removal last year.
  • Other transportation reforms:

“Washingtonians have spoken on car tabs and it’s the job of the Legislature and governor to respond. We need to put policy over politics. This means implementing 30-dollar car tabs, establishing a permanent account for preservation and maintenance, and setting priorities at WSDOT. We have put solutions on the table that would respect the will of the voters and meet future transportation needs.”

— Rep. Andrew Barkis, assistant ranking Republican on the House Transportation Committee

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