Democrats Advance Bill That Would Force Sound Transit to Alter License Tax
OLYMPIA — A Democrat-drafted response to soaring Sound Transit car tabs passed out of a House committee Monday with backing of several Republican lawmakers.
The House Transportation Committee voted 20-5 to approve the bill forcing Sound Transit to change a key component in calculating its motor vehicle excise tax to lessen the financial hit from a voter-approved hike in the tax rate.
Under House Bill 2201, the regional transit authority must stop using a 2-decade-old depreciation schedule which overvalues vehicles and start using one adopted by the Legislature in 2006 which better reflects a car’s actual worth.
Sound Transit would give owners a credit for any extra they paid under the old method, or a refund if they’ve already spent money to renew their tabs. This approach would provide an estimated $780 million in rebates for car owners through 2028, according to Democratic lawmakers.