I sympathize with Glen Mowbray’s complaints (Letters, Sept. 8) about new plates and the state of Washington charging sales tax on high book value regardless of vehicle condition.
You can’t do much about the plate deal. However, you do not have to accept the sales tax overcharge. You simply have to show the licensing office estimates of what it would cost to restore the car or truck to high-book condition. They will deduct the cost of those estimates from their estimated value down to, but not past, the price you actually paid.
This applies to all cars, not just classics. These estimates could be for tires, mechanical repairs, bodywork, or even detailing. I write these kind of estimates frequently. I don’t mind, and I suspect most auto repair businesses wouldn’t. It’s good public relations and helps prevent people being overcharged at the licensing office. They are required by Olympia to do it this way, or they are in trouble.