OLYMPIA – After closing the public hearing on a resolution opposing Initiative 976, the Thurston County Board of Commissioners voted 3-0 on a resolution to formally oppose the initiative which is included on the ballot for November 4, 2019.
Initiative 976 is concerning motor vehicle taxes and fees. It limits state and local taxes, fees, and other charges relating to vehicle. The impacts of the passage of this initiative are expected to reduce transportation funding for projects across the state, eliminate the resources fixing safety and capacity needs on local and state roadways, and eliminate more than $1.9 billion in transportation and public safety funding across the state in the next six-years.
“This initiative will cause significant disruptions in the infrastructure around our state and county,” said Commission Chair John Hutchings. “Many important safety updates, projects addressing traffic flow, and projects addressing ecological issues across the state and our county will be stalled or not completed due to lack of funding. Our vital Intercity Transit and Rural Transit systems could also lose funding which would be a detriment to our community.”
“The funds will not be taken from the county directly,” said Ramiro Chavez, County Manager. “The state will receive a significant reduction in fees collected through vehicle taxes which will result in the state pulling back on funds through the state transportation budget for local jurisdictions.”
Regional impacts may include the State Route 510 (SR-510) bypass project and the I-5 traffic impact study and improvements.
The resolution states that the Thurston County Board of County Commissioners finds that it is in the best interest of its residents and the county to express it collective position in opposition to Initiative 976.