Northwest NEWS

November 30, 1998

Local News

DOL offers clarification on Referendum 49

Some Washington car owners and buyers are discovering they will not receive a $30 credit on their motor vehicle excise tax under Referendum 49, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 1999.

   Referendum 49 authorized the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) to credit the motor vehicle excise tax up to $30 for some vehicles. However, under the referendum, this credit will not take effect until the purchase of July 2000 tabs or later.

   This means that customers purchasing tabs in Jan. 1999 through June 1999 will not receive a credit under the referendum. Customers purchasing year 2000 tabs in July 1999 or later will receive the credit, when applicable.

   For example, if a customer owns:

   The excise tax credit only applies to the motor vehicle, motorcycle, or truck with a scale weight of 6,000 pounds or less. The credit does not apply to motor homes, trailers, or trucks exceeding the 6,000-pound scale weight. The vehicle must be registered to a private individual. It cannot be registered to a business.

   If motor vehicle excise taxes are due in Nov. or Dec. 1998, waiting until Jan. 1999 will not decrease the taxes due. The credit applies only to qualifying vehicles and owners effective with July 2000 registrations and tabs.

   The Department of Licensing is working with Washington car dealers and vehicle licensing offices to clarify the referendum credit information.