By EMMA EPPERLY
OLYMPIA — “Bring Back Our $30 Car Tabs,” an initiative that would limit annual motor-vehicle registration fees to $30 except for voter-approved charges, was sent to the Legislature for consideration by the secretary of state.
Initiative 976 received enough signatures to potentially make it to the November 2019 ballot. The initiative can take three different pathways by either being approved as is by legislators, by legislators passing on the initiative and it being voted on by the public, or by legislators passing an alternative, in which case voters would choose between the two versions in November.
I- 976 also would repeal, reduce, or remove the ability to impose a variety of vehicle taxes and fees except for those that are voter-approved. It would also require the use of Kelley Blue Book values as a basis for vehicle taxes.
Tim Eyman is the activist behind the initiative, who has been proposing and passing a variety of initiatives since 1999 with Initiative 695: Washington Voter Approval for Tax Increases. I 695 limited license tab fees to $30 and required voter approval for changes to all taxes and fees, not just those related to vehicles. The initiative was overturned by the Washington Supreme Court in 2000 because it was not limited to one subject, a requirement of all initiatives.
Eyman wants I- 976 to pass “so that every vehicle owner in the state of Washington would write a check for 30 dollars each year to register their vehicle and cap it so that state government can’t jack it up and local government can’t jack it up.” According to Eyman, 61 cities in Washington have imposed vehicle fees. Eyman has proposed a host of bills that all get at one issue. “Big picture, it’s less about the money and more about respecting the decisions voters make,” Eyman told the Columbia Basin Herald earlier this week.