Should Seattle Raise Car Tab Fees $60?

By Erica C. Barnett September 13, 2011

In November, Seattle voters will be asked to raise their car-tab fees $60 to pay for a combination of road maintenance projects, transit improvements, bike facilities, and pedestrian-safety projects. Combined with an existing $20 city car-tab fee and a $20 fee passed by the King County Council last month, the fee would increase Seattle drivers' car-tab costs by a total of $100.

What does the fee mean for poor people? We asked the city's premiere advocate for the poor, John Fox, to debate the city's premiere advocate for the poor, Tim Harris, about the wisdom of the fee.

In today's ThinkTank, Fox of the Seattle Displacement Coalition argues that the fee is a regressive tax on poor drivers who can least afford it; and Harris, director of the homeless newspaper Real Change, says he supports a system that improves transit and provides mitigation for low-income drivers.
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