Burbank wrong about MVET funds

I frequently am amused (though not intellectually challenged) with John Burbank’s continued liberal whine, but his Nov. 14 column deserves at least one retort.

Among the other demonstrably wrong points in his column is this one: “We also have history of passing ballot measures that put the squeeze on funding already targeted to roads and transit.” He then goes on to cite the passage of Initiative 695 as a contributing factor of our current traffic woes.

With this statement, Mr. Burbank is implying that the MVET was used principally for roads and transit. This is simply not true. One of the primary reasons people supported the original I-695 was because they were paying outrageous license fees and getting little tangible results from the money they were paying. As a former assistant state auditor, I can assure the readers that very little of the MVET tax went to roads.

Principal recipients of the tax were small cities (with little retail sales activity) receiving sales tax equalization payments and county health districts, which received the funds for use in general operations. Neither of these uses of the tax were related in any way to roads or transit.

Mr. Burbank is free to have his opinion regarding the state of politics in Washington. However, when giving his opinion, he should support it with fact. He does his readers no favors by writing a column that distorts facts in order to make his point.

Jack Broyles Jr.


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