Taxpayers are getting ripped off, everybody knows it, and politicians refuse to fix it. That’s why 352,000 voters signed petitions to get Initiative 976 on the ballot.

When the government artificially inflates the value of vehicles, it’s fraud. Initiative 976 repeals the dishonest vehicle valuation schedule that politicians are currently using to inflate your taxes.

If a private company was price gouging its customers like this, the government would shut it down. But here, because it’s the government taking more than it should, all we’re hearing is threats, lies and scare tactics.

Some politicians may admit their taxes are dishonest and inaccurate. But they won’t fix them because the public interest groups feeding at the trough won’t let them. For 2 1/2 years, citizens have been screaming at politicians to fix them, but they haven’t. When I-976 qualified in January, the Legislature had all session to fix the valuation schedule. It didn’t. Lawmakers could’ve put an alternative on the ballot alongside I-976. They didn’t do that either. Why? Because the public interest groups that get the dishonest taxes wouldn’t allow it.

Con: Vote no on I-976, which will slow our traffic and the economy

This is exactly why we have the initiative process — to give the voters the chance to solve a problem the politicians won’t.

I-976 gets rid of dishonest vehicle taxes, repeals artificially inflated vehicle valuations, and sets license tabs to a flat, fair and reasonable $30 per year for your car, truck, motorcycle, motor home and other vehicles. It’s a common-sense policy the voters have repeatedly passed. We’re already paying huge sales taxes when we buy a vehicle and huge gas taxes and tolls when we use a vehicle — we shouldn’t be forced to pay triple taxes just to own a vehicle. Working-class folks, not just rich people, should be able to afford a newer vehicle. And under I-976, future vehicle taxes must be voter-approved and based on Kelley Blue Book. In other words, they’ll have to ask our permission and tax us honestly.

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If politicians had any compassion for the average taxpayer, I-976 wouldn’t be necessary. Taxpayers are overwhelmed: Dishonest vehicle taxes, skyrocketing property taxes, crushing sales taxes, massive gas taxes, obnoxious tolls and costly fees on everything. Despite record revenues and a huge $3.5 billion tax surplus, Olympia imposed 11 new taxes costing $27 billion over the next decade. It’s insane. Now they’re demanding income taxes, carbon taxes, pay-per-mile taxes. Enough is enough.

If we can’t get tax relief when there’s a huge $3.5 billion tax surplus, when can we? Besides, all the money taxpayers save will get pumped right back into our state’s economy. Opponents’ threats, lies and scare tactics are absurd — I-976 only affects a fraction of government spending. An oversized semitruck knocked down the Skagit River bridge on Interstate 5 — but politicians claim low taxes caused it. Total lie. And the state’s $3.5 billion tax surplus is more than enough to easily back fill any affected transportation program.

Do you have something to say?

Share your opinion by sending a Letter to the Editor. Email letters@seattletimes.com and please include your full name, address and telephone number for verification only. Letters are limited to 200 words.

When the government knowingly inflates the value of vehicles to take more in taxes than they should, it’s indefensible. Taxpayers are getting ripped off — that’s the issue. Attacking me? A dumb distraction. I didn’t create dishonest vehicle taxes, the government did. I didn’t create dishonest vehicle valuations, the politicians did. When my wife and I sold off our retirement fund and loaned $500,000 to kick start the signature drive for this historic effort, it was a huge risk, but we had faith — unshakable faith — that there were lots of people sick and tired of getting ripped off. Polls show our faith was not misplaced.

Overwhelming voter approval of I-976 is the only way to get rid of this dishonest tax. Politicians will never fix it — here’s our only chance. Vote Yes on I-976.