Legislature wants to tax auto parts

Apr 8, 2021
Written by Mark Johnson, Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs

As one of 35 parts of a massive transportation tax proposal totaling $15.4 billion over the next 16 years, there is a provision to add a 1% sales tax on auto parts to generate an estimated $405 million.

WR feels this is the wrong direction to go and asks the Transportation Committees and Legislature to not include an additional tax on auto parts.

Washingtonians who purchase auto parts are usually fixing their cars and trucks on their own. Some owners enjoy this but many, if not most, are doing it out of necessity. They can’t afford to take their vehicle to the dealer or a repair shop. This is a brutal choice between buying groceries, paying rent, or fixing their car. These lower wage hard working citizens often are driving older, high mileage cars that are prone to break down and need repairs – simply because they can’t afford to buy a new or newer vehicle. This regressive tax hits those least able to pay.

This tax will also hurt the many auto parts stores that are small businesses in our state. Their customers may put off making that parts purchase because of the increased costs. These small business owners are struggling through the pandemic as many Americans are unemployed or living paycheck to paycheck.

This new tax on auto parts is the wrong approach at the wrong time and will cause more harm than good. WR encourages the Legislature to reject it.