Tim Eyman targets tolls and light rail with new initiative

  • By Jerry Cornfield
  • Wednesday, June 1, 2016 4:09pm
  • Local News

The latest ballot measure conceived by Mukilteo’s Tim Eyman would end tolling on I-405 and jeopardize Sound Transit’s ability to fund expansion of light rail into Everett.

Initiative 869 also would repeal car tab fees imposed by cities to pay for local road projects and weight fees charged by the state to defray costs of highway improvements.

“It doesn’t matter what the level of government, these taxes, fees, tolls and other charges don’t have the consent of the governed,” Eyman said Wednesday afternoon.

Signature-gathering for the measure dubbed “We Love Our Cars” will formally begin Thursday, he said.

Eyman filed this as an Initiative to the Legislature. This gives him until the end of the year to collect the required 246,372 valid signatures of registered voters to assure a spot on the November 2017 ballot.

If he gets enough signatures, the measure will be sent to the Legislature where it could be adopted. If not, it goes on the ballot. Lawmakers also could draw up an alternative to put alongside it.

Two of its elements are certain to attract a lot of interest.

One aims to roll back any increase in motor vehicle excise tax collected by Sound Transit to pay for its expansion plan known as ST3. This fall, Sound Transit is expected to seek an increase in motor vehicle excise taxes along with a boost in the sales tax and property tax to cover the $54 billion expansion.

Even if the region’s voters approve the vehicle fee increase this fall, Eyman said his measure would repeal the hike if it makes the ballot and is passed next year.

The other notable piece would axe collection of tolls on highways 405 and 167.

Meanwhile, Eyman said he has abandoned signature-gathering for Initiative 1421 to bring back $30 car tabs. He had been trying to get that one in front of voters this year.

“That one never took off,” he said.

For that campaign, he raised nearly $200,000 of which he had spent $57,000, according to online records of the state Public Disclosure Commission.

Eyman said he intends to use the unspent funds on this new initiative.

This post was updated to make clear the proposed initiative does not deal with state-imposed fees on electric vehicles.

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