HB 2201, a bill devised to cut $2.3 billion dollars from the Sound Transit 3 (ST3) budget, has reared its ugly head again. Though the bill was taken off the House floor calendar last minute today, it could return in the very near future. Look up your legislators online and tell them to vote no. Emails are good, phone calls are better.

Here’s why:

  1. HB 2201 cuts transit funding locally at a time when the Trump administration is also threatening transit funding. Cuts to funding could mean longer timelines and reducing or eliminating projects. Democrats should be looking to speed up funding and expand transit, not joining Trump’s agenda.
  2. The Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET) is the most progressive funding source in ST3 and among the most progressive funding sources in the state. Democrats have often said they care about the regressive nature of our state’s tax structure–it’s time to prove it.
  3. Since it is a progressive tax, the changes to the MVET will be a larger tax cut for the rich. Someone with a 2013 Honda will save $30 or so whereas someone with a 2015 Tesla will save a hundred.
  4. ST3 is a massive move towards a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly Washington State and is among the biggest things we’ve done to combat climate change.
  5. There is no tactical reason for Democrats to do this. The folks at the Seattle Times Editorial Board and their supporters will never like ST3. It’s time for Democrats to show a backbone and stand up for transit.

HB 2201 is the antithesis of the values that Democrats claim to represent. Instead of ramming HB 2201 through, they should focus on Representative Kristine Reeves’ HB 2357 and do more to fund transit as a climate priority. Please join us in urging your legislators to vote no on HB 2201. [Editor’s note: We’ve added this handy tool to easily email your legislators.]

5 COMMENTS

      • Under the current law, not exactly. It is based upon MSRP. I bought a new 2015 Leaf for an effective price of about $22k after incentives and discounts. But it is taxed at its MSRP of over $38k under the current ST3 fees. To me, that is not environmentally progressive and the MSRP is not the true value of the car.

        Same thing for my Soul EV, which I leased last year at an effective total price of $19k, despite an MSRP of over $38k. At least with the vast majority of electric vehicles, MSRP does not represent the value or cost of the vehicle.

        My question is how does the proposed legislation deal with that issue?

        • 2201 charges you the MSRP that’s lower between the pre-2006 version of the MVET and the after-2006 version of the MVET, but it’s all based off the same MSRP as before.

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