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King County preparing to file lawsuit on the legality of I-976

SPOKANE, Wash. - King County Executive Dow Constantine is asking the Prosecuting Attorney's Office to prepare a lawsuit to "challenge the constitutionality" of Initiative 976.

The ballot measure was co-sponsored by anti-tax advocate Tim Eyman, and would drop car tabs to $30 with no additional fees. I-976 was shot down in King County, but passed statewide in the election.

RELATED: Voters clash over car tabs and transportation funds on I-976

"The passage of I-976 underscores the ongoing need for comprehensive state tax reform, but in the short term we must clean up another mess that Tim Eyman has created for our state, our region, and our economy," said Executive Constantine, "There will be many discussions in the weeks and months ahead to determine how to overcome the loss of safety and mobility caused by this irresponsible initiative, but the impact of I-976 to transportation is – in a word – devastating."

According to the Washington Office of Financial Management, the state could lose nearly $1.9 billion in revenues by 2025 – revenues used to fund street and pedestrian projects.

RELATED: Understanding how I-976 will impact the City of Spokane

Executive Constantine says that the passage of I-976 would cut City of Seattle Transportation Benefit District (TBD) funding by around $36 million. The City of Spokane says that they would lose their TBD funding entirely, which comprises half of the City's annual investment in road improvements.

According to the King County Executive Office, they are discussing the use of "one-time funding" as a bridge, until an alternative or replacement revenue package is presented. They wish to reiterate that capital funds for these operations is a bad policy, as once it is spent, it is gone forever.

You can read Executive Constantine's full response here.



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