I-776 will make traffic congestion worse and take away local control

What does I-776 do?

I-776 would repeal locally approved funds for transit and roads safety projects.  Although people in most counties already pay $30 per year for car tabs, it would take away local voters’ rights to raise additional revenue for transportation improvements.  It would cripple critical road safety and maintenance projects at the local level, and repeal existing funding for commuter rail, express buses, and light rail.  Additionally, it would repeal approximately $66 million per year for road maintenance and safety projects in the Puget Sound region and Douglas County.  It’s the wrong way to get us out of traffic!

I-776 seeks to eliminate locally approved transportation funding with a statewide vote
In King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Douglas counties, voters and elected officials have chosen to increase their car tabs to fund critical transportation investments. I-776 allows voters statewide to overturn those decisions.  It allows Seattle residents to overturn decisions made in Douglas County.  It allows Spokane residents to overturn decisions made by voters in Pierce County. Voters who pay a local tax and use the improvements should be the ones who decide.

Impact Local City/ County Roads Funds

I-776 overturns locally-approved funding for road safety and maintenance projects.  The $15 local-option fee pays for road improvements in key arterials and neighborhoods.  Right now, every county in Washington has the right to approve this local-option fee; currently only Douglas, King, Pierce and Snohomish have exercised that right.  Passage of I-776 would weaken local control by allowing the state to overturn local decisions.  It would also repeal the authority for other counties to make similar decisions on their own behalf.

I-776 would result in the loss of over $381 million in funding for local roads by 2013:

  • Douglas County and its cities – $4.4 million for 2003-2013
  • King County and its cities – $218 million for 2003-2013
  • Pierce County and its cities – $79.28 million for 2003-2013
  • Snohomish County and its cities – $79.43 million for 2003-2013

Impact on Regional Transit

I-776 overturns locally-approved funding for transit options, including rail and express bus service. Voters in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties approved an excise tax to pay for transit options.  I-776 would repeal that tax and eliminate existing funding for commuter rail, express bus service, and light rail.

I-776 Ballot Title & Summary

Initiative 776 concerns state and local government charges on motor vehicles. This measure would require license tab fees to be $30 per year for motor vehicles, including light trucks.  Certain local-option vehicle excise taxes and fees used for roads and transit would be repealed.

I-776 would require license tab fees of $30 per year for cars, sport utility vehicles, motorcycles, motor homes, and light trucks.  It would also repeal certain laws allowing local governments to impose taxes or fees on motor vehicles for transportation purposes, including voter-approved excise taxes on vehicles for high capacity transportation services.  The measure states that the people expect bonds previously issued for light rail to be retired using reserve funds and other sources.

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