AP NEWS

PDC looking into I-976 mailers sent by city of Olympia

October 22, 2019

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Public Disclosure Commission is taking a closer look at a city-wide mailer sent out by the city of Olympia that encourages residents to vote no on a ballot measure that seeks to lower the cost of car-tab fees.

The mailer arrived in Olympia mailboxes this week, ahead of the Nov. 5 election. Initiative 976, sponsored by Tim Eyman, would lower most motor vehicle fees to $30 and largely stop state and local governments from adding any taxes and fees without voter approval.

In an email, Eyman said the mailing was “blatantly illegal.”

PDC spokeswoman Kim Bradford says that while city councils can express a collective decision to support or oppose measures, state law prohibits them from using public resources to promote or oppose measures. Bradford said that PDC staff has concerns about some aspects of the mailer, including the “Vote No” language.

A city spokeswoman and the city attorney did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.