Ugh, just got the tab renewal notice slip.

$390. $322 of which is the RTA tax. It was over $400 last year.

For those of you not in the Seattle RTA area, they basically asked voters to vote for an increase in vehicle tax from 0.8% to 1.1%, it used to be a flat $30 years ago on top of licensing fees and an emissions test every other year, so usually about $115 a year. A small increase to compensate for failing infrastructure? Sure it is our civic duty. What was not clearly outlined was that they also switched the way they determine vehicle value. Instead of following a normal depreciation curve or published values, they determined their own curve which is way off. So even though my car is a 2016 model with an unreasonably high MSRP, (that was nuked down by previous models having a nasty habit of cracking engine blocks and having an even shoddier interior), which as a result I leased at a very small overall value, I’m stuck paying a 1.1% tax on 90% of the dealer invoice inflated MSRP, which is more than my monthly payment, nearly double my monthly payment last year.

The upsetting part, is I just looked up the value of my car, KBB puts it at $16,000, for which I am thankful that I did lease, but paying tax on almost double the estimated value is pretty upsetting.

There was a story about someone buying a used, top of the line range rover. They are paying tax on almost double the estimated value, despite the fact he paid far far less then even the estimated value. For numbers a 2010 range rover is about 20k. If they purchased it privately it could be as low as 15k. The RTA says it still has a value of over 40k.


The best part is, people are upset. Those who bought new or moderately new vehicles in the area are getting some ludicrous numbers not reflective of actual car value. So an attempt to equalize the playing field, to use published vehicle values has been met with basically stone walling. First they responded that they would employ a whole 6 people to address complaints. Then they sent out this letter that basically says, “Sound Transit has already sold bonds, we have a responsibility to repay those bonds in a timely manner and as such cannot change anything for the next 25 years. Vehicle tab fees will return to a more reflective value in 2028.”

Good news is there is going to be a slight increase in demand for slightly older cars, bad news is new cars are going to have about an additional 8% added on in 10 years of ownership.


/long ass rant