What is it?
Initiative 976 is a statewide ballot measure concerning motor vehicle taxes and fees that will be on the November 5 ballot.
How will it appear on the ballot?
“This measure would repeal, reduce, or remove authority to impose certain vehicles taxes and fees; limit annual motor-vehicle-license fees to $30, except voter-approved charges; and base vehicle taxes on Kelley Blue Book value.”
What does that mean?
If passed, except as otherwise provided, effective 12-5-2019, I-976 would:
- Limit most state and local license fees (car tabs) to $30
- Repeal or remove authority to impose certain vehicle taxes and fees
- Base vehicle taxes on Kelley Blue Book value
- Limit the financing options available to regional transit agencies1
What is the statewide impact?
If passed, I-976 would reduce funding for multiple transportation programs across the state and local levels by $4.2 billion over the next six years. During that time, total revenue loss to state government would be about $1.9 billion, and total revenue loss to local governments would be about $2.3 billion.2
It is anticipated the state would have to reduce funding for:
- State Highway Patrol programs
- County road and bridge construction and improvement programs
- Highway construction, road maintenance and local road programs
- 2005 Transportation Partnership improvements
- Puget Sound Ferry operations
- Snowmobile programs
- Other transportation improvement and funding programs.2
What is the impact to public transit in the Spokane region?
If passed, I-976 would reduce transportation funding by eliminating $1.48 billion over the next 6 years from the State Multi-Modal Account, which funds all modes of transportation projects, including public transportation, rail and bicycle/pedestrian projects.2
Spokane Transit funding could be negatively impacted if I-976 passes:
About $20 million in approved Regional Mobility Grant and Connecting Washington funds could be at risk, affecting projects like the Central City Line, Paratransit service, and Vanpool Program.
What is the impact to Spokane street and pedestrian improvements?
Within the limits of the city of Spokane, vehicle owners pay a $20 Transportation Benefit District (TBD) fee for street and pedestrian improvements. The City collected about $3 million from this fee in 2018 and has already collected about $2 million in 2019.
The bulk of this funding is dedicated to residential street improvements; TBD funds represent more than half the investment the City makes in residential streets annually. Additionally, 10 percent of the funding is earmarked to implement pedestrian projects, including constructing missing sidewalks and funding sidewalks around schools. TBD funding would stop, effective Dec. 5, if this measure passes.
Where can I learn more about I-976?
To learn more, check out the Spokane County Online Voters’ Guide