City council's proposed car tab fee nearly doubling the price

City council's proposed car tab fee nearly doubling the price

YAKIMA, Wash. - City council is considering raising car tabs prices and this isn't the first time.

Members voted down the increased fee in March and July this year because they couldn't agree on an amount.

Yakima's Communications and Public Affairs Director Randy Beehler said he thinks the council is now considering a $20 increase because all of the information council members read was based off a $20 increase. If that extra expense was added, car tabs would cost $50 per car.

"Under Washington state law, a legislative body, a city council or a county commission can establish a car tab fee of up to $20 per vehicle, above that requires a vote of the people," he said.

Beehler said if a higher fee was implemented it could generate an estimate of $1.3 - $1.5 million per year.

Israel Garcia said the extra money might be hard on his family but he would be for it if it helped the city.

"It would affect my family, we have a few kids and we're kind of strapped all the time so we notice $20 here and $20 there," Garcia said. "I would be for it depending on what it's going toward."

Beehler said the city has a project list that the money would go toward. Some of those projects include revitalizing North First Street. creating sidewalks in neighborhoods for kids to safely walk to school and minor road projects throughout the city.

Beehler said he frequently hears taxpayers asking what their money goes toward and this money from this fee would go directly toward that project list.

"You know exactly where that money is going and it's being reinvested into roads, sidewalks and that transportation infrastructure," Beehler said. "So you have the advantage of knowing that by paying this fee, this is exactly where it's going."

Jason Smith said he is for the raised fee if it helps with city infrastructure.

"I think that the funding associated with infrastructure improvements has been decreasing over the last couples of decades, cars are more efficient, getting less for gas tax," Smith said. "You got to look at other revenue streams and car tabs are one of those revenue streams, so I'm in favor of it."

We spoke to other drivers who said they were against it and one woman said she wants the car tab fee to be lowered, not raised.

The car tab fee is on the agenda for the next city council meeting on December 5 and the council members are expected to vote on the increased fee at that meeting.

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