Published on Nov 13, 2019

AWC responds to I-976

Contact: Candice Bock

The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) is joining a broad coalition in filing a suit to seek an injunction and determine the legality of I-976.

“AWC is joining the coalition to clarify the initiative’s constitutionality,” said Peter King, AWC CEO. “Our purpose is to determine the legality of I-976.”

“This initiative overturns local decisions of communities throughout the state that have chosen to invest in their own transportation needs. It casts into doubt state financing for numerous critical local transportation priorities.”

Local impacts, local decisions

The new law immediately impacts cities by repealing the local decision-making authority of city transportation benefit districts (TBDs) to impose vehicle license fees. This local transportation funding tool has provided cities with the ability to locally fund their own transportation needs and priorities for more than a dozen years.

More than 60 cities have used these fees to provide basic transportation services—like filling potholes and repaving streets as well as funding transportation infrastructure improvements. For many cities, it has been their only significant dedicated transportation funding source.

Moving forward

AWC’s Board of Directors adopted increased transportation funding as a key priority for the 2020 legislative session, asking the Legislature to “adopt a comprehensive set of transportation policies that provide robust new resources and local options.” King indicated that AWC will pursue this priority with a renewed sense of urgency.

Candice Bock
Director of Government Relations
(360) 753-4137

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