Car tab taxes are hated and despised — so why are politicians building castles on quicksand?

by | Feb 9, 2016

Politicians have known for decades that car tab taxes are hated and despised.  Here are several non-so-subtle hints:

HINT #1:  In 1999, 514,000 voters signed petitions for Initiative 695 that lowered car tabs to $30 per year by repealing the state’s car tab tax.

HINT #2:  Despite opponents spending $2.2 million and every media outlet throwing a childish temper tantrum, I-695 was overwhelmingly approved by the voters.

HINT #3:  Because I-695 included a popular provision requiring voter approval for tax increases, the court found $30 tabs and voter approval for tax increases as separate subjects.  The same day, Governor Gary Locke held a press conference and said “Despite the court’s ruling today, $30 license tabs are here to stay.”  The vote by the Legislature for $30 car tabs was 83-13 in the House and 39-9 in the Senate and Locke promptly signed it into law. 

HINT #4:  The Washington Policy Center documented how wrong opponents’ pre-election predictions were:  “Initiative 695 One Year Later:  The Sky Didn’t Fall.”

HINT #5:  In 2002, Initiative 776 qualified and passed.  It repealed the authority of local governments to impose car tab taxes and fees.  Despite opponents radically outspending us, I-776 was approved by voters.  The state supreme court rejected opponents’ single subject rule challenge and upheld I-776 (Supreme Court Ruling on I-776 validates voters,

HINT #6:  In 2006, we sponsored Initiative 917 that would have gotten rid of Seattle-centric Sound Transit’s car tab tax that voters repealed with I-776 in 2002.  We wrote about it:  “What part of $30 don’t they understand?”  Polling showed it would have passed overwhelmingly.  But we fell about 5000 signatures short of qualifying. 

HINT #7:  We’ve repeatedly promised a follow-up $30 car tabs initiative (here’s one example:  March 19, 2009:  Why can’t they take no for an answer on car tabs?

HINT #8:  Polling shows that our new initiative — Bring Back Our $30 Car Tabs I-1421 — polls at 66% yes, 25% no, 9% not sure.  The crosstab polling results are fascinating (see attached).


      If you want your $30 car tabs back, support our initiative.  If you want to derail Seattle-centric Sound Transit, support our initiative.  If you hate 405’s tolling debacle, support our initiative.  If you’re disgusted by cost overruns on Bertha and the 520 bridge, support our initiative.  If you’re sick and tired of government arrogance and incompetence, support our initiative.   

       To Bring Back Our $30 Car Tabs and get I-1421 on the ballot, we need your financial support (petitions are automatically being mailed out to everyone as soon as possible).  Your support is critical.  Please make a donation today.