Rep. John Lovick (D-Mill Creek, center) on the floor of the House of Representatives with Rep. Mike Pellicciotti, Rep. Kristine Reeves, Transportation Chair Rep. Judy Clibborn (seated), Rep. Shelley Kloba and Rep. Christine Kilduff. The five standing lawmakers introduced a package of legislation in the House to address Sound Transit 3 car tab issues. Photo courtesy of the House of Representatives.
OLYMPIA—Rep. John Lovick (D-Mill Creek) announced that he’s one of five lawmakers introducing five separate reforms to address the controversy surrounding how Sound Transit 3 is handling car tabs.
Here’s a summary of legislation introduced this week in the House of Representatives:
- Faster and fairer depreciation value of cars — House Bill 2147 by Rep. Mike Pellicciotti (D-Federal Way), changes the way Sound Transit values cars for the purposes of the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax that funds voter-approved transportation projects. The net result is lower costs to taxpayers than is currently being billed by Sound Transit.
- Rebates — House Bill 2148 by Rep. Kristine Reeves (D-Federal Way) allows Sound Transit to offer a rebate of up to 40 percent on car tab charges for low-income vehicle owners and a similar rebate of up to 40 percent on the property tax charge for Sound Transit 3 for low-income homeowners.
- Accountability — House Bill 2149 by Rep. John Lovick (D-Mill Creek), requires the Department of Licensing to include with annual vehicle renewal and registration information on the budget and status of Sound Transit projects being funded by car tab fees. This would include links to information and websites where vehicle owners can learn more, providing information and accountability directly to the taxpayer.
- On time and on budget? — House Bill 2150 by Rep. Shelley Kloba (D-Kirkland), requires a similar taxpayer accountability statement to property taxpayers by directing county auditors to provide information on the status of Sound Transit projects.
- Working together — HB 2151 by Rep. Christine Kilduff (D-University Place), directs transit agencies to improve coordination with Sound Transit and other agencies and show measurable progress as they integrate service with Sound Transit.
“When I pay for something, I expect to know what I’m getting in return,” said Lovick. “Let’s clear up the confusion about what these car tabs are paying for by providing information directly to our constituents every time they get their renewal and registration. Drivers deserve to know what they are getting for their money.”
Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island), chair of the House Transportation Committee, is reviewing the committee schedule to include a work session on Sound Transit to discuss these and other issues and ideas to address the public’s concern.