New $30 car-tab passes in Washington

Abial Gebremedhin, Reporter

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On Tuesday, November 5th, the voters of Washington approved Initiative 976. This limited the license fees of vehicles under ten thousand pounds to $30. The uproar at the Washington State Legislature and the City of Seattle has been swift, due to the billions of taxes they will be lost.

Initiative 976 was a polling favorite during the months leading up to the election, polling over 60 percent in October. The reason it was a voter favorite bill is because of the attractive offer it gave Washington drivers to know how much to pay before they head to the DMV.  Due to the algorithm of adding years and subtracting years from your model year, many drivers had no idea what their bill would be. The lax of high grade taxes on Initiative 976 also made it a big seller Washington voters.

Initiative 976 has already been up for a lawsuit for the King County Superior Court to determine if it is constitutional and if the advertising of the initiative misled voters. The lawsuit states that the Washington Public Transit would stand to lose roughly 4 billion dollars and that if voters knew that side of the bill they wouldn’t have voted for it.  Even with the lawsuit Washington voters still support this bill.

“I think it’s amazing because of the price,” Said Cole Strazzara “ I think it’s fine that public transit is being defunded because of the inaccessibility for people in the suburbs.”

The controversy of this bill is due to the fact that the taxes paid for car tabs heavily fund Seattle Public Transit. Without the taxes from the car tabs, Seattle and Washington Public Transit will be underfunded. In fact, the main Plaintiff in the lawsuit against the initiative is the Washington State Transit Association.

The initiative is being stalled for now, while we wait for the ruling of the King County Supreme Court. 

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