KING CO., Wash. - A King County judge granted an injunction Wednesday temporarily blocking I-976 from taking effect.
Lawyers for cities and counties across the state had been asking Judge Marshall Ferguson to block Tim Eyman's $30 car tab measure from taking effect, saying it was misleading and violated Washington's Constitution.
Voters approved Initiative 976 earlier this month. It caps most taxes paid through annual vehicle registration at $30 and largely restricts the authority of state and local governments to add new taxes and fees.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs told Judge Ferguson during arguments Tuesday the initiative contained multiple subjects, contrary to the Constitution, and that its ballot title deceptively suggested it would not restrict the ability of local voters to approve taxes to fund local transportation or transit needs, when it does.
Judge says lawsuit against 976 is “likely to prevail on the merits of their constitutional challenge to I-976 based on ... the Washington Constitution, specifically the 'subject-in-title' requirement.” So, in short, the ballot title may have been misleading. #Q13FOX https://t.co/5fcyIqzDmw— Brandi Kruse (@BrandiKruse) November 27, 2019
According to Q13 reporter Brandi Kruse, Judge Ferguson said the lawsuit against 976 is "likely to prevail on the merits of their constitutional challenge to I-976," meaning the ballot title may have been misleading.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued the following statement:
“This is not a final judgment, and this case is far from over. We will continue working to defend the will of the voters. This case will ultimately wind up before the State Supreme Court. We are working now to determine our immediate next steps. As my solicitor general, Noah Purcell, said yesterday, Tim Eyman’s outburst in court was wildly inappropriate, and it hurt our chances of successfully defending the people’s initiative.”
The judge acknowledged the case will likely end up at the Washington Supreme Court and the process could take years.
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