I-976 would severely limit Shoreline and Lake Forest Park's road maintenance projects and Shoreline sidewalks

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

LFP Public Works conducting proactive street repair
cutting out alligator cracking and asphalting the patch.
Photo courtesy City of Lake Forest Park

Initiative Measure No. 976 concerns motor vehicle taxes and fees. This measure would repeal, reduce, or remove authority to impose certain vehicle taxes and fees; limit annual motor-vehicle license fees to $30 and base vehicles taxes on Kelley Blue Book value.

According to Ballotpedia, "Tim Eyman has proposed, has sponsored, or was otherwise involved with initiatives every year since at least 1998. Most of all, his initiatives concerned two subjects: taxes and transportation. A recurrent initiative sponsored by Eyman through the years concerns $30 car tabs (vehicle license fees)." This year he has I-976.

What are the taxes on the license fees?

The taxes included in the license fees are related to transportation - road maintenance and reconstruction in LFP, and pavement maintenance and sidewalk repairs in Shoreline. There are funds for Sound Transit and Metro Transit.

What happens if I-976 passes?

If the initiative passes, the result would be a loss of $430,000 per year to Lake Forest Park's Transportation Capital Fund. This loss would represent a 52% reduction in revenue for this fund, a loss the City could not absorb and would have to find funding elsewhere. It would severely limit the City’s ability to maintain roads.

In Shoreline, passage of I-976 would significantly impact funding for street and sidewalk preservation and maintenance projects.

In 2009, Council implemented a $20 VLF to fund pavement preservation of our streets. In 2018, they implemented an additional $20 VLF to pay for the repair and maintenance of our sidewalk network. That money would disappear.

In 2020, the combined VLFs are estimated to generate approximately $1,660,000. However, while the VLFs currently only fund those two programs, the loss of $1,660,000 per year would impact the entire transportation program as Shoreline would need to find that funding elsewhere in the budget.

Other impacts

There is potential loss to other projects that may rely on state funding. Cities may lose other general state transportation funding as the state tries to make up its loss in funding by limiting funding to local jurisdictions.

--Diane Hettrick


Anonymous,  October 22, 2019 at 11:45 AM  

I find it amusing that passage of I-976 would impact Shorelines sidewalk maintenance program. Many neighborhoods still don't have sidewalks and in those that do the sidewalks are closed to allow residential construction access or hazardous because of tree root damage, with requests for maintenance falling on deaf ears. In our neighborhood a request for repair resulted in the damaged elevated sections simply being painted white.

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