State of Washington lawmakers do not want to wait for Initiative 976 court ruling

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
Sound Transit
Sound Transit has thorough tree-replacing program in place for Federal Way Link Extension.
Sound Transit

Initiative 976, which was approved by voters back in November, is still waiting for its day in court. State lawmakers, however, are running short on patience.

Bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate which would make the $30 cap on car tab fees state law. Initiative 976 does enforce the limit, but is being challenged legally. State Sen. Phil Fortunado says Senate Bill 6350 cannot be challenged in court. House Bill 2227 is a companion to Senate Bill 6350. Republican lawmakers say Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed transportation budget is out to punish voters who approved Initiative 976.

State Rep. Jim Walsh, a sponsor of House Bill 2227, wants the state to cut low-priority transportation projects and administrative expenditures to help make up for the loss in revenue due to the cap on car tabs.

Sound Transit could suffer the most from any cap on car tabs. The agency is in the midst of a massive system expansion that relies on car tab revenue. However, the U.S. DOT just awarded a portion of the project billions of dollars.

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