$30 car tab fee in hands of Yakima voters

$30 car tab fee in hands of Yakima voters
YAKIMA, Wash. -- After much debate and last-minute amendments, council voted in favor to send the car tab fee to the ballot.

"This issue needs to go to voters because they've had a say on it in past years and if we implement it arbitrarily, they're going 'you’re not listening to us,’” Mayor Micah Cawley said.

“It's very foolish to put this on public election and I don't think it will pass at forty and I don't know that it will pass at twenty,” said Council Member, Kathy Coffey.

Council did approve the car tab fee but not at $20 or $40. Members decided to meet in the middle at $30.

Council felt voters would be willing to meet them in the middle of the two proposed rates to help raise money for city street repairs.

However, some who attended Tuesday night’s meeting said council should impose the fee at $20 because voters will turn it down if it's any higher.

"Don't put this up to election,” Candice Turner said.

"If they vote it down, where are you going to go? Is the council going to come back and put it on another ballet measure,” Bill Duer said.

City Manager, Tony O'Rourke, filled council in on the difference between the $20 and $40 price tag. With the income from a 20 dollar fee, the city could fix 50 to 60 lane miles of roads.

At $40 it could repair over 120.

Council members argued a $20 fee would only maintain roads, but not repair them. Members say the city simply has no more money to fix the roads and hopes voters will agree to pitch in.

"There seems to be energy and a positive momentum that's about to break on a lot of different ways and to let our infrastructure deteriorate as we do all that would be really counterproductive. And, so I hope the community will get that picture and ultimately buy in,” said Council Member, Dave Ettl.

Voters will decide if it's an idea they want to buy into.