Harmsworth expresses disappointment over failure of House to approve needed Sound Transit reforms

“People want, and deserve, real relief.”

House Republicans offered several amendments today to the House transportation budget proposal to address citizen concerns with Sound Transit 3. The amendments were aimed at a myriad of issues with the newly imposed taxes associated with the massive $54 billion project, including soaring car tab fees. Each amendment offered by House Republicans was rejected.

Sound Transit’s new funding package bases vehicle value on the Manufactured Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). In some cases doubling, or even tripling the costs of car tab fees for vehicle owners. Rep. Mark Harmsworth, R-Mill Creek, has proposed basing assessments on the Kelley Blue Book value, which is lower, and closer to the real value of the vehicle.

In response to increasing pressure from constituents, the House majority party introduced House Bill 2201. However, rather than Kelley Blue Book, the proposal would base assessments on a 2006 state valuation schedule. During floor debate on the bill, Harmsworth offered several reforms to provide greater tax relief for those within the ST3 boundaries. Each amendment was rejected by the majority party.

In response Harmsworth made the following statement:

“Even though we offered several reasonable amendments today that would have brought people the help they are asking for, the majority party decided not to accept them.

“Instead, they’ve made the decision to accept an outdated, unfair, unrealistic taxation formula that is clearly of more benefit to Sound Transit than to the people forced to pay the fees.

“While the bill that passed the House today makes some difference, it’s really just chump change in the big picture of things. People want, and deserve, real relief. I believe that once this bill goes to the Senate, it will be modified to get people the help they need from the overcharging and gouging that Sound Transit is currently imposing through car tab prices.”

The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn April 23.


Washington State House Republican Communications