Drivers repeat call for cheaper car tab fees after I-976 defeat

Many drivers in Tacoma told Q13 News they suffer no confusion about what they want – cheaper car tabs.

“If you’re not ready for it can have a big impact on you,” said Herman Buchanan.

Voters in Pierce County overwhelmingly approved I-976 in November 2019 when the initiative passed by nearly a 2-to-1 margin.

“It’s too expensive,” said Judy Flannigan. “The tabs are more expensive than my car payment.”

If Thursday’s ruling that nixed $30 car tabs sounds familiar, it is because voters have voiced for the same reduction in fees for decades.

“When this ruling came down I got angry,” said initiative sponsor Tim Eyman. “The voters have said again and again what they want.”

State Supreme Court justices tossed the initiative saying it violated the constitution by combining multiple issues in a single initiative and that the language of the ballot title was not clear, yet voters in Pierce County shared clarity in their concern.

“It doesn’t have to be $30, it could be $100 dollars,” said Flannigan. “Just be reasonable, $500 is unreasonable.”

That steep price is why Flannigan said she has yet to renew her tabs, even though she agrees casting her vote for I-976 was not so easy.

I think that it was worded weird, the way they wrote it,” she said.

“That’s government,” said Buchanan.

Between two vehicles, Buchanan says he pays hundreds of dollars for renewal each year but added he was not surprised by the court’s ruling.

“Checks and balances,” he said.

Eyman called on drivers to protest in a way the state cannot confuse.

“I ain’t renewing my car tabs and I encourage everybody to do the same,” he said.

The Washington State Patrol said while Troopers enjoy discretion to issue warnings for drivers who have not renewed their registration, they also can issue citations which can cost as high as $231.

Eyman said another initiative is not out of the question.