Republican says Democrats are feeling the heat on ST3 car tab tax reform

Republican St. Senator Steve O'Ban tells KVI that his Sound Transit (ST3) car tab tax relief bill, SB 6106, has been granted a hearing by the Democrat committee chair, Steve Hobbs.

Car, truck, motorcycle and trailer owners in the Sound Transit taxing district have been expressing their objections to the car tab tax hikes for the $54 billion light rail expansion plan since shortly after the first renewals were sent out in January 2017. Sound Transit maintains that the tax level must be protected or the third phase of construction will be short by $780 million - $2 billion over the next 10-25 years.

O'Ban says that he thinks the Democrat Senator chairing the committee agreed to the hearing because Hobbs is, "feeling at least that much pressure, right? He knows that he can't bottle up legislation like this that even his constituents" are demanding. O'Ban authored identical legislation in last year's session which passed the then-Republican-controlled Senate but it failed to pass the Democratic controlled House.

Now that both the Olympia House and Senate are controlled by Democrats, KVI's Kirby Wilbur asked O'Ban if he thought the momentum to pass a car tab tax relief bill has faded. O'Ban responded flatly, "Certainly not on my phones or (e-mail) in box." O'Ban continued, "I can't imagine it's died down. I think what happens is folks wonder if anything can be done and they're wondering if there's real leadership out there that represents their feelings, their views. Republicans are committed to getting tax relief for car tab tax payers and we'll keep this issue going."

The News Tribune editorial board recently suggested that Legislative Democrats work toward some level of Sound Transit car tab tax relief.

SB 6106's Senate Transportation Committee hearing is coming up Wednesday January 24th, 2018. If you support the bill, you are encouraged to call your State Senator to and share your support via phone, 1-800-562-6000, or e-mail.

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