Majority Democrats reject Rep. Mark Harmsworth’s attempt to give substantial Sound Transit 3 car tab relief

Legislator: Rep. Mark Harmsworth
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The House of Representatives passed a Democrat-sponsored bill Wednesday to provide some relief to angry citizens from the enormous Sound Transit 3 car-tab increases. House Republicans say the reduction is not enough. John Sattgast reports from Olympia.

SATTGAST: The new Sound Transit 3 funding package bases vehicle value on the Manufactured Suggested Retail Price – which doubles – and in some cases, even triples the costs of new car tabs.

Republican Representative Mark Harmsworth of Mill Creek says MSRP is an unrealistic, inflated value. He’s proposed assessments based on Kelley Blue Book value, which is significantly lower and more in tune, he says, with the true worth of the vehicle.

Majority House Democrats have been unwilling to pass Republican-sponsored Sound Transit reforms. But they’re getting pressured from angry citizens. So they passed House Bill 2201 to base assessments on a 2006 state valuation schedule. Unfortunately, Harmsworth said the bill would reduce car tabs by as little as a dime on a dollar.

HARMSWORTH: “What happens is the cars get older. You end up getting charged more or less. So, just as an example – a couple/three-year old Honda Accord – the difference between the state schedule and a Kelley Blue Book – You’re going to get approximately 50-dollars back under the state scheme, whereas Kelley Blue Book would give you about 160-dollars back, which is real tax relief on a three- or four-hundred dollar tax bill.”

SATTGAST: Harmsworth offered amendments to provide greater tax relief for those affected within the ST3 boundaries. Democrats rejected each of those efforts.

Harmsworth’s reaction?

HARMSWORTH: “I’m getting really tired of them focusing on how it’s going to hurt Sound Transit. I’m more concerned about how it’s hurting, right now, the people that are paying for their tabs. I want to fix the problem for our constituents, not keep Sound Transit happy.”

SATTGAST: John Sattgast, Olympia.


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