Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Flexcar Tax Update

As I'm sure most who read this blog know already, I'm an opinionated woman. I have a bit of a knack for complaint letters in particular, to the point that some of my friends will refer to "pulling a Nicole" or ask for my advice when writing such letters for themselves. (And, to be fair, I do try to share positive experiences and send a little love around when things go right...it's not all complaints!) I do not hesitate to write my representatives about issues of law and governance, I'm not shy about communicating with companies I'm going business with about my experiences and expectations. I hadn't known about the Washington state tax on Flexcar for a day before I'd written to my state representatives, the Seattle Mayor's office, and the Office of Sustainability and Environment.

Last week I heard back from the OSE:
Thanks for your email about this. We appreciate all you're doing to protect the environment.

This is definitely an important issue, but one that is governed at the state level. We understand that the Governor is planning to work with the department implementing this tax (which says it has to by law) to see what can be done to change it. If that is unsuccessful, then there are plans to introduce legislation that would change the law to accommodate programs such as FlexCar.

We have passed your message on to staff in the Office of Intergovermental Relations, which works closely with state-level policymakers.

Thanks again for letting us know about this.


Jeanie Boawn, Admin. Staff Analyst

Tonight I heard back from my state senator, Margarita Prentice:
Dear Nicole:

Just a quick note to thank you for your e-mail message. I'm pleased to report the Governor's office, the Department of Revenue and others are working on language that will address the differences between a rental car company and a "flexcar" program. It's very tedious and technical but my hands-on source expressed optimism this will be concluded before the implementation date.

Thanks, again, for taking the time to write. I appreciate your information and the opportunity to provide an update.

Margarita Prentice
State Senator ~ 11th Legislative District
Chair, Ways and Means Committee

I have no gut feeling for how many other people may have called or written these same people looking for answers to the Flexcar problem, or any number of other issues, or where a Flexcar tax lands in the scale of things they're trying to juggle. I am very glad that there seems to be enough political will to make the changes necessary to reverse a short-sighted policy that undermines the good progressive programs like Flexcar offer our region. I hope Senator Prentice is correct that the changes can be in place before the tax would be applied.

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