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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Frustration continues to grow on the outrageous prices of your car-tab fees due to the phenomenal price tag of ST3. I receive constant complaints on what we are doing in Olympia to fix this problem once and for all. We recently voted on a bill to bring minimal relief. I was a reluctant “yes” and here’s why.

Sound Transit 3 |Car-tab fee frustration

In 2016, when you voted on the mass-transit expansion project known as ST3, you had the impression it was going to cost somewhere around $15 billion. In the scope of things, that’s still a pretty hefty price tag. The question remains on how the $15 billion ballooned into over $54 billion.

If you weren’t aware of exactly how this project was going to impact your wallet, you learned quickly when you received the renewal notice for your car-tab fees. I think explaining the emotion of what you felt would be complete and utter sticker shock, especially when the majority of Pierce County voted “no” on the measure.  Here’s the slow starting point of what we’re doing in Olympia.

Recently, House Bill 2201 came to the House floor for debate and passage. This bill could provide a small amount of relief on your car-tab fees. The key word here is small relief.

We moved a procedural motion to the Speaker before the debate and vote started. What this means is my colleagues and I asked for the consideration of amendments to the bill. We had good ideas to make this a better solution. Amendments included requiring Sound Transit to be held accountable, and prove fiscal responsibility, on how they are using public funds (aka – your money) to rightfully pay for the actual ST3 project, and by electing the Sound Transit Board rather than allowing the members to be appointed. We were unsuccessful in our motion to bring real change to the bill.

In essence, what this bill would do is minimally reduce the amount of your car-tab fees. As an example, if you drive a 2017 Honda Accord, you would see around a $31 reduction in your fees. If our amendments had passed, amongst other things, you would’ve saved around a $78.

I voted “yes” for this small relief because you deserve something. However, we can’t sit back and think our work is done on this issue. We aren’t even close! I will continue to fight to ensure you see real relief!

To watch my floor speeches, please click the following link.

Things I’ve been working on

Recently, one of our law enforcement brothers, Officer Daniel McCartney of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, was killed in the line of duty. One of the suspects who shot Office McCartney was wearing body armor to protect himself, should the situation turn bad.

I am working on two bills on this issue. House Bill 2966 would establish a special allegation and sentencing enhancement for wearing body armor during the commission of any violent offense. House Bill 2968 would create a sentencing enhancement for body armor. Both bills have been referred to the House Public Safety Committee where they await hearings.

Please feel free to contact my office with any questions, issues or concerns. I am your voice in Olympia and I want to hear from you.

It’s an honor to serve you.


Morgan Irwin

State Representative Morgan Irwin, 31st Legislative District
430 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7866 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000