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2018 Bill Tracker

Here are the bills we are closely tracking, along with status and actions. To take action, click on the bill's number to comment on the Washington Legislature website, or contact your legislator.

Status update as of March 9, 2018.

HB 2201: Concerning the collection of a motor vehicle excise tax approved by voters of a regional transit authority in 2016.

This bill would require Sound Transit to provide a tax rebate that is equivalent of the delta between the 1999 and 2006 MVET depreciation schedules. Sound Transit estimates that the bill will result in a $780 million revenue loss to the agency (over the long term, the accumulated loss would be about $2 billion due to financing impacts). This bill also identifies the order in which projects would be impacted for achieving cost savings: parking facility projects, commuter rail, bus projects, and light rail projects.

TCC Position: Mixed
Status:
Bill failed.

Talking Points:

  • We do not support efforts to change a voter-approved plan. ST3 won 54% of the vote in 2016.
  • However, we are sensitive to issues of tax payer fairness as it relates to low and middle income families in the region.
  • TCC is committed to ensuring that Sound Transit receives funding that allows the voter-approved ST3 to move forward.
  • TCC is working closely with legislators to include offsets in the bill that will ensure Sound Transit has the funding to deliver Sound Transit 3 projects.

SB 5955: Concerning the collection of a motor vehicle tax approved by voters of a regional transit authority in 2016.

Similar to HB 2201, however, it provides a credit towards the MVET, not a refund. Offsets costs to provide Sound Transit tools to deliver Sound Transit 3 projects on time.

TCC Position: Mixed
Status:
Bill failed.

Talking Points:

  • We do not support efforts to change a voter-approved plan. ST3 won 54% of the vote in 2016.
  • However, we are sensitive to issues of tax payer fairness as it relates to low and middle income families in the region.
  • TCC is committed to ensuring that Sound Transit receives funding that allows the voter-approved ST3 to move forward.
  • TCC is working closely with legislators to include offsets in the bill that will ensure Sound Transit has the funding to deliver Sound Transit 3 projects.
  • Update 3/1:
    • The Senate passed ESSB 5995. We are monitoring closely and working with legislators to ensure that Sound Transit has the resources to deliver voter approved projects on time.
  • Update 2/6:
    • The Senate Transportation Committee voted the bill out of committee with new language that would allow Sound Transit to offset the financial impact of the MVET credit by utilizing funds from the "Puget Sound Tax Payer Accountability Account." See last bullet for an over of this account.
    • The new language also makes light rail a permitted use in unincorporated areas of counties which will help speed up the deliveries of certain Sound Transit 3 projects.
    • In 2015, when the legislature authorized Sound Transit 3 taxing authority, the authority created the "Puget Sound Tax Payer Accountability Account" where Sound Transit pay sales taxes on construction projects. Up to $518 million of that tax revenue can only be spent on "educational services to improve educational outcomes in early learning, K-12, and higher education including, but not limited to, for youths that are low-income, homeless, or in foster care, or other vulnerable populations." This was a last minute addition to the negotiated package after an effort for sales taxes on construction to be distributed statewide. Learn more here.

HB 2357: Allowing semiannual or quarterly payment plans for regional transit authority motor vehicle excise taxes.

This bill would allow for semiannual or quarterly payment plans for regional transit authority motor vehicle excise taxes if the tax due is over $200 or more.

TCC Position:
Support
Status:
Bill failed.

HB 2403: Concerning transit-only lane enforcement cameras.

This bill would allow for use of automated traffic safety and transit-only lane enforcement cameras for enforcement.

TCC Position:
Support
Status:
Bill failed.

HB 2653: Modifying the alternative fuel vehicle sales and use tax exemptions for the purposes of expanding the exemptions and amending related provisions. (Similar bills introduced HB 2549, HB 2340)

This bill uses funding from the Connecting Washington multi-modal account to provide tax breaks for electric vehicle purchase. The multimodal account is used to fund innovative transportation solutions - walking, biking, transit, and other public transportation projects - that the gas tax cannot fund.

TCC Position: Oppose
Status:
Bill failed.

SB 5288 (HB 1410): Authorizing certain public transportation benefit areas to impose a sales and use tax increase approved by voters.

This bill allows Intercity Transit in Olympia to go the ballot to increase their taxing authority.

TCC Position: Support
Status: Bill passed.


SB 6414 (HB 1860): Concerning population-based representation on the governing body of public transportation benefit areas.

This bill attempts to balance the composition of transit boards to ensure that they reflect the way service is provided.

TCC Position: Support
Status: Bill passed.

HB 2338: Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation fuels.

This bill establishes a Clean Fuels Program and retains the current distribution of revenue under the 2015 Transportation Package, eliminating changes that would have been triggered as a result of legislative enactment of the Clean Fuels Program.

TCC Position: Support
Status:
Bill failed.

SB 6303: Establishing a vehicle valuation method for a regional transit authority collecting a motor vehicle excise tax that is based on Kelley blue book or national automobile dealers association values.

TCC Position: Opposed
Status: Bill failed.

SB 6301: Modifying the election and authority of regional transit authority board members.

TCC Position: Opposed
Status: Bill failed.

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