I. Overview

The passage of I-695 is reported to have created a $750 million per year deficit in the state transportation budget. Tim Eyman, a Mukilteo businessman and I-695 and I-745 sponsor, was credited with running a campaign in 1999 to repeal the state's Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET) and replace it with an annual vehicle registration fee (license fee) of $30 for passenger cars, cabs, motor homes, travel trailers, motorcycles, and other vehicles. Initiative 745 mandates that 90% of all state and local transportation money must go to roads.

Under I-745's formula, brought to the ballot a year after I-695, only 10% of state and local transportation dollars could legally go to public transportation. The initiative requires that the remaining 90% of transportation funds be spent entirely on road construction and repair. The initiative has created particular controversy due to the funding of Tim Eyman's I-745 campaign by road construction firms and lobbies.

The state legal system has made recent decisions that may block the introduction of such initiatives in future. The Washington State Supreme Court issued an 8-1 decision on October 26, 2000 declaring the voter approval portion of Initiative 695 unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruling on Amalgated Transit Unit Local 587 versus the State of Washington upheld a March 2000 decision of the King County Superior Court against I-695. Tim Eyman has avowed to pursue a new third initiative (I-722), the "son of I-645" as Eyman has labeled it, concerning the voter approval portion of I-695.

Regardless of future court decisions, one of the most basic questions raised by I-695 and I-745 in terms of taxation was that of a direction of progressive or regressive taxation: the passage of I695 resulted in a shift from moderately progressively to extremely regressive.

The complexities and potentially effects of I-695 and I-745 on issue of growth management in Washington State are only beginning to be understood. Potential local impacts include delays of road projects aimed at easing congestion, creating and maintaining carpool lanes, and improving freight mobility.

Consensus has it that the hardest hit, as a result of such initiatives, are new cities, rural counties, local bus systems and state road and ferry systems. Some Department of Transportation officials have said that unless a new source of money is found, the state no longer be running ferries by July 2002.

II. Agency Information Sources





III. Non-government Information Sources

1. Municipal Research and Service Center

The Municipal Research & Services Center (MRSC) is a non-profit, independent organization created in 1969 to continue programs established in 1934 under the Bureau of Governmental Research at the University of Washington. The MRSC's mission is "working together for excellence in local government through professional consultation, research and information services."


2. Washington State Transit Association

The Washington State Transit Association is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit corporation, representing all 25 transit systems in the state and Washington State Ferries. Its members include state and local agencies and organizations, vendors, and consultants.


An analysis of the transit impacts of Initiative 745 is available at:

3. The Associated General Contractors

The AGC opposed I-695 but supported I-745.


4. Transportation Choices

The Transportation Choices Coalition's mission to seek a better quality of life for the people of Washington State, including clean air and clean water, more parks, and vibrant and healthy communities.


5. No on I-745

Opponents of I-745 have published a list of over 30 well-known NGOs in Washington State who oppose I-745.


6. Permanent Offense

The Permanent Offense website has collected a wide range of documentation and evidence in support of Eyman's arguments and initiatives.


IV. What the Press Say

1. Seattle Times

The Seattle Times has compiled an extensive website of press reports specifically related to I-695.


Prepared by Nathaniel Trumbull and Professor Christine Bae. Last updated 11/10/2000.

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