Seattle Times: “Reject car tabs Initiative 976 and its devastating effects.”

The Seattle Times editorial board urges a ‘no’ vote on I-976. The editorial makes a clear and persuasive case for rejecting the measure, a position shared by a broad coalition of business, labor, civic and governmental groups. The editorial states,

…Initiative 976 is a direct threat to Washington’s well-being. It would cut repairs to streets and bridges of 62 districts across the state, delay voter-approved mass transit in mid-construction and cost taxpayers more money in the long run. The statewide transportation budget, including highway construction and the State Patrol, would be shorted $4 billion over the next decade…

I-976 would overrule voters and voter-accountable local governments who approved higher car tab fees for community needs. The 62 cities and areas that made this hard choice dot the state. In Yakima, an additional $20 per car tab funds $25 million in projects for roads and sidewalks. In Vancouver, a $40 fee provides nearly $5 million annually for fixing and upgrading city streets. These and 60 other localities’ plans are derailed if I-976 passes and zeros out fees.

There’s more and it’s all worth reading. We agree with the editorial.

Nothing about I-976 is a good idea, in terms of responsible governance or prudent money management. 

Earlier we posted a link to the Seattle Times editorial meeting with I-976 sponsor Tim Eyman and opponents Larry Brown, president of the Washington State Labor Council, and Joel Graves from the Washington Roundtable. Here it is again.

As we said in our most recent newsletter:

Were it to pass, the initiative would reduce state and local government transportation funding by $4 billion over the next six years, according to the state budget office. Among the business groups in the broad-based coalition opposing the measure are the Washington Roundtable, Greater Spokane Incorporated, the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County, and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. The coalition also includes many labor unions, environmental groups, civic organizations, and state and local elected officials. 
 
 
Our Connect priority says
 
Everyone depends on the transportation system, from farmers and manufacturers to individuals and families. It’s time to invest in transportation to support a prosperous future.
 
Initiative 976 threatens the investments critical to our state’s continued prosperity. 
There’s much at stake in November. We’ll give the editorial the last word.
Because the courts cannot end this toxic nonsense quickly enough, voters must reject I-976 themselves.