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.

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.