House passes measure to reduce Sound Transit car tab taxes

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The House has passed a measure that would reduce car-tab taxes for most car owners in the Puget Sound area.

The Seattle Times reports that House Bill 2201 passed on a 60-37 vote Wednesday and now heads to the Senate for consideration. The measure addresses an issue that gained attention after car-tab taxes approved by voters in 2016 for Sound Transit's latest expansion plan went into effect last year. Currently, Sound Transit's system of estimating a car's value inflates the value of newer cars, resulting in higher taxes.

"To be honest I don’t see myself in this are too much longer because tax prices have gone up, house prices have gone up, the cost of living here has gone up," said Dennis Blackwater.

The bill passed by the House would move to a more accurate valuation system, closely matching Kelley Blue Book values, and offer taxpayers a rebate for past overpayments.

The bill would mean a direct loss of $780 million for Sound Transit over the next 11 years as it pushes to expand light-rail and bus service.