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Voters clash over car tabs and transportation funds on I-976

Ballot measure I-976 causing a stir
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Ballot measure I-976 causing a stir

SPOKANE, Wash. - Ballot measure I-976 could drop car tabs to $30. One side says drivers can save money, but the other side says it will make roads more dangerous.

RELATED: Understanding how I-976 will impact the City of Spokane

Anti-tax advocate Tim Eyman is a co-sponsor of the bill — to have a fee of just $30 for car tabs with no additional fees.

He went before Seattle City Council on Monday as they looked at a resolution against the measure. City Council members unanimously approved the resolution, saying they do not support I-976. 

"Voters do not like politicians telling them how they should vote. This hasn't been a public hearing, it's been a politician hearing," Eyman said before the City Council.

The measure would keep licensing fees at $30, eliminating a 0.3 percent tax on vehicle retail sales.

The Office of Fiscal Management said state and local governments could lose more than $4 billion in the next six years if the initiative passes.

 "It's going to be extremely harmful to all people in Washington state. Bus, bike, pedestrian, rail and other multimodal cuts in our city will be extremely harmful to the members of the transit riders union that use all those modes of transportation," said Matthew Lang, with the Transit Riders Union and member of the No on I-976 coalition. 

Some of the extra fees paid by drivers go to the Transportation district. 

The money is being used by 62 cities across the state for improvements, such as fixing the roads and keeping up the transit systems.

The Office of Fiscal Management said for fiscal year 2018, the state collected more than $58 million through the fee.

The City of Spokane alone collected about $3 million in 2018, with money going toward street improvements.

If the measure passes in November, cuts could start in December.

For more on the No I-976 Coalition, click here.

For more on the I-976 "Bring Back our $30 Car tabs," click here.

For the ballot initiative that was filed, click here.



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