Drivers should pay more to help maintain streets | Letter

Oct 12, 2016

Editor, The Beacon:

I was a strong supporter of Tim Eyman’s statewide initiative to roll back car tabs.

It was too easy for a dysfunctional legislature to simply regularly raise car tab rates for general purposes, rather than tackle the tough issues of revising our state’s tax policy.

But his position in a recent letter to the editor [“Eyman may lead anti-car tab initiative,” page 5, Oct. 5] deserves another look.

The city of Mukilteo is transitioning from paying for community facilities and services from development fees, to other revenue sources as our city approaches “build out” and development fees decline.

The mayor’s proposal to use an increase in car tabs as part of the funding for doubling street maintenance has some appeal from those of us who believe that car-driving residents who receive a special benefit from well-maintained streets should pay for that benefit.

Why should residents who don’t drive cars, or the business community, pay the full burden of street maintenance?

While there is a “general benefit” from living in a community with well-maintained streets, perhaps some of the costs should be paid by the users. Thus, the increase in car tabs for the specific purpose of funding street maintenance has some appeal and should not be categorically rejected as “radioactive.”

Some of us who drive Honda Civics, would go so far as to suggest our brethren who drive large SUVs and oversized four-wheel-drive trucks (soon to be fitted with studs for winter driving), should have the cost of their tabs reflect their more significant impact on our streets.

Mr. Eyman’s categorical rejection of the tax proposal probably deserves a second, more balanced evaluation.

Don Graf,


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