Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are at the tail end of Week 13 of our 15-week regular session. On the agenda this week – the House transportation and capital budgets. Voting on the transportation budget was first, but House Democrats tabled the vote until next week. The House capital budget made it through the committee process. Now, the waiting game begins to vote on both budgets. Here are some of the highlights from Week 13.
Sound Transit 3 | Transportation Budget
Sound Transit 3 continues to be the thorn in our side, especially when our district voted against playing these massive taxes. It's time to fix this mess! While the car tab increases are eye opening to you, and the first direct hit, remember this revenue only represents 14 percent of Sound Transit 3 funding. That leaves 86 percent of their revenue coming from somewhere else. Where? Property tax bills are on their way. House Republicans are working hard to bring some reform to Sound Transit by amending the transportation budget. The six proposed amendments include:
Amendment 410 | Exempts Pierce County from Sound Transit 3 taxes.
Amendment 416 | Allows cities and counties to opt-out of all Sound Transit 3 taxes (I am the sponsor of this amendment)
Amendment 420 | Requires Sound Transit to assess vehicles using their Kelley Blue Book value when assessing the motor vehicle excise tax (MVET).
Amendment 421 | Prohibits Sound Transit from issuing new bonds without receiving legislative approval.
Amendment 422 | Requires Sound Transit to assess vehicles using their Kelley Blue Book value if they want to use Department of Licensing (DOL) to collect the MVET.
Amendment 423 | Prohibits the DOL from collecting a MVET from residents of cities and counties that choose to opt-out of the MVET.
I had the pleasure of talking on The Dori Monson Show on KIRO radio for a second time, on this very issue. You can listen to the interview here. I will keep you posted on the proposed solutions.
Visitors to the Capitol
It's always a pleasure to have community members, businesses and organizations, and schools come down for a visit on the Capitol campus. This week it was great hanging out with the students from Dieinger Heights Elementary School in Lake Tapps. I hope you enjoyed your visit with me and your time in Olympia.
It's an honor to serve you.