Vote yes on I-976 | Guest column

by Tim Eyman

Taxpayers are getting ripped off and politicians refuse to fix it. That’s why 352,000 voters signed petitions to get Initiative 976 on the ballot.

Taxing a $10,000 vehicle like it’s $25,000 is a fraud. I-976 repeals the vehicle valuation schedule that politicians are using to artificially inflate your taxes.

If a private company was price gouging its customers like this, the government would shut it down. But because it’s the government taking more than they should all we’re hearing is threats, lies and scare tactics.

For 2.5 years, citizens have been screaming at politicians to fix them, but they haven’t. When I-976 qualified in January, the Legislature could have fixed it. They didn’t. This is why we have the initiative process — to give the voters the chance to solve a problem the politicians won’t.

I-976 eliminates dishonest vehicle taxes, repeals artificially inflated vehicle valuations and sets license tabs to a flat, fair and reasonable $30 per year for all vehicles. It’s a common-sense policy the voters have repeatedly passed. We’re already paying huge sales taxes when we buy a vehicle, huge gas taxes and tolls when we use a vehicle, we shouldn’t be forced to pay triple taxes just to own a vehicle. Working-class folks should be able to afford a newer vehicle. And under I-976, future vehicle taxes must be voter-approved and based on Kelley Blue Book.

If politicians had any compassion for the average taxpayer, I-976 wouldn’t be necessary. Washington is one of the highest taxed states in the nation. Dishonest vehicle taxes, skyrocketing property taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes, tolls, ferry fares and costly fees on everything. Despite record revenues and a huge $3.5 billion tax surplus, Olympia imposed 11 new taxes costing $27 billion. It’s insane. Now they’re demanding income taxes, carbon taxes, pay-per-mile taxes. Enough is enough.

Opponents’ threats, lies and scare tactics are absurd – I-976 only affects a tiny fraction of government spending. Not a penny of car-tab taxes goes to roads or bridges – gas taxes pay for those. And again, the $3.5 billion tax surplus easily backfills any affected program.

Taxpayers are getting ripped off. Attacking me? A dumb distraction. I didn’t create dishonest vehicle taxes, the government did. I didn’t create dishonest vehicle valuations, the politicians did. When Karen and I sold off our retirement fund and loaned $500 thousand to kickstart the signature drive for this historic effort, it was a huge risk. But we had faith that there were lots of people sick and tired of getting ripped off. Polls show our faith was not misplaced.

Overwhelming voter approval of I-976 is the only way to get rid of this dishonest tax. Politicians will never fix it – here’s our only chance. Vote Yes on I-976.

To contact Eyman, email or call 509-991-5295. For more information about I-976, visit