The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Why are we paying more than $30 for car tabs?


October 31, 2019

To The Eagle:

Last year I wrote to our legislators about why our renewal for car licensing had risen from $30 to $63.75 (this year went up to $68.25). I received a response from Damon Monroe who is the Rule Coordinator for DOL. This is his reply:

“We apologize for not getting back to you sooner. We have reviewed the list of fees and concerns noted in the email sent to Governor Inslee and various legislators. We understand your concerns about the fees; however all of these fees are required by state law and can only be changed through legislation. While the initial licensing fee has remained $30 for many years, there are additional fees that are authorized by law. Below we have listed the corresponding statutes next to each vehicle licensing fee, the full text of the RCW can be found from each hyperlink. Details of your fees:” (same details of the fees shown on your renewal for vehicle tabs.)

When I read the part “fees are required by state law and can only be changed through legislation” and “there are additional fees that are authorized by law” I wrote back to the legislators to let them know what cowards they were for sending this to Damon to have him explain to me when they could’ve done it themselves. I questioned them, who are the legislators that changed this policy and authorized by law? Look into the mirror.

The population of Washington is around 7.5 million. If each of us paid a $30 tab fee, that’s $225 million and that’s not counting those who have two or more vehicles, RVs, 5th wheels, trailers, boats, etc.; it’d be over $500 million per year. That’s a lot of revenue for road work, transit and other transportation needs. The fees for filing, computer system and service, that’s ridiculous. We appreciate the employees’ assistance, but as taxpayers, we pay their salary, so isn’t that their job?

All that revenue, why pay the extra $38.25 fee? Who gets it? How is it spent? Where does it go?

Toni Below



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