Uphold the People's Vote Rally in Olympia

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If you find yourself feeling like your I-976 vote went unheard in the November general election, fear not — you will soon get a chance to voice your opinion to the legislature on its opening day at a $30 tabs rally on the steps of the Capitol. On Monday, Jan. 13, the participants of the Uphold The Uphold the People’s Vote Rally will take to the north side of the Capitol steps in Olympia to respectfully demand that legislators listen to the will of the people and implement $30 tabs, the measure that passed by six percentage points in November.

Supporters of the measure declared it a necessary piece of tax relief for drivers whose cars were overvalued and overtaxed by Sound Transit’s outdated vehicle valuation system, a system that has long since been repealed and replaced by the Legislature.

“We need to make it clear to Governor Inslee and to Democrat leadership that it’s time to listen to the people and pass $30 tabs once and for all” says LD 42 State Senator Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale).

Immediately after 976 passed, government leaders such as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and King County Executive Dow Constantine launched a lawsuit in the King County Superior Court. With the court battle putting the measure effectively in limbo, the state has continued to collect car tabs at the current rates. Also recently the Sound Transit Board raised property taxes after voters demanded tax relief with 976.

In 1999, $30 tabs were also approved by voters at the ballot but were then struck down in court. However, the Legislature and then-Governor Gary Locke, a Democrat, put the measure back in place, to uphold the will of the voters and correct the constitutional court challenge; this is the way things used to work.

“Transportation has become a partisan philosophical issue — it didn’t used to be,” Ericksen said. “We all used to basically be in agreement that we were going to use the gas tax effectively and efficiently to build roads and ease congestion.  But now, the Democrat Party in Washington state believes that congestion is the solution, not the problem, because fundamentally they believe you should not be driving an automobile.”

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