FOLLOWUP: Judge’s ruling puts Initiative 976 on hold, for now

That’s the ruling from King County Superior Court judge Marshall Ferguson this morning, putting Initiative 976 on hold while the lawsuit against it is argued. Among the parties to the suit claiming it’s unconstitutional is the city of Seattle, which sent the document and quotes including this from Mayor Jenny Durkan: “This is good news for transit, safety, and equity in Seattle. We are pleased that the Court recognized the severe and irreparable harm to our residents that would have occurred without this injunction. Our residents rely on Metro bus service, ORCA cards, neighborhood safety improvements and road maintenance. … A supermajority of Seattle voted this irresponsible measure down in Seattle. That is because Seattle votes every day with our feet and with our dollars to invest in more transit.” The results certified on Tuesday show 59.47% of King County voters rejected 976; statewide, 52.99% of voters approved it. The document above (it’s here in PDF if you can’t read it there) spells out what plaintiffs say is at risk of cuts – including Metro bus service – if 976 were allowed to take effect December 5th as written; it also says that if ultimately 976 is upheld, overpaid taxes/fees can be refunded. So bottom line – no change in your license fees TFN. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, in charge of defending the initiative since voters approved it, says, “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.”

40 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Judge's ruling puts Initiative 976 on hold, for now"

  • Lola November 27, 2019 (1:17 pm)

    Let the Peoples Voices Not Be Heard.  Here Ye, Here Ye, your vote does not matter.  

    • KBear November 27, 2019 (1:25 pm)

      The people’s vote doesn’t matter if the initiative is found to be unconstitutional, which it will be. But most of the people in our region voted against this nonsense.

      • LJ November 28, 2019 (8:54 am)

         Unconstitutional like a state income tax would be. When it involves tax revenue the state constitution is a living document and subject to change whenever our politicians need more of our money. Government  employees don’t work for the taxpayers we work for them just look at Chicago the courts have ruled it’s unconstitutional to reduce public employees pensions and health care  benefits even when the city and state a beyond bankrupt..  

    • tsurly November 27, 2019 (1:31 pm)

      I think you hypocrites fail to remember recent history; King, Pierce, and Snohomish County voters passed ST3. That being said, the votes of people outside of those counties that are not impacted by the MVET tax WE enacted do not matter.

    • Peter November 27, 2019 (1:41 pm)

      Voters to not have the right to override the constitution, the courts have an absolute obligation to nullify an initiative that violates the constitution regardless of if the voters approved it. It’s called rule of law.

    • Zmmr November 27, 2019 (1:42 pm)

      More reasons to vote for TimTim Eyeman for Governor. Trump for 2020!!

      • Also John November 27, 2019 (2:18 pm)

        You’re kidding….right?

        • Zmmr November 27, 2019 (2:39 pm)

          Why should I be kidding?I want change!!Am sick and tired …and tired and sick of the money grabbing politicians. I want change. 

          • Karl Tull November 27, 2019 (2:59 pm)

            You Russian troll, correct? Davay vyp’yem vodki posle raboty, Sergey?

          • Wendell November 27, 2019 (3:38 pm)

            Hahaha. You’re going to need a big bra for those two boobs.

        • Zookeeper November 27, 2019 (3:50 pm)

          Don’t feed the trolls

      • Peter November 27, 2019 (3:35 pm)

        I’m elated that Eyeman is running! It guarantees Inslee will get another term. 

    • Craig November 27, 2019 (2:55 pm)

      The “professional” initiative writer  who continually submits flawed initiatives.   

      • Greg November 28, 2019 (7:49 am)

        And steals from the donations. 

        • jojo November 30, 2019 (9:44 am)

          well, and from the Olympia Office Depot

  • Patrick November 27, 2019 (1:30 pm)

    No surprise here.  Welcome to the State of Washington, where your vote matters, as long as you agree with the current political power establishment.   On to the State Supreme Court where the rulings go in your favor provided you have contributed enough into the re election campaigns of our corrupt justices.  

    • Jon Wright November 27, 2019 (2:02 pm)

      A Tim Eyman initiative was found unconstitutional? Per you’re right–no surprise! If I was the cynical sort, I might  suspect that Eyman does this on purpose in order to ensure there was an opportunity for yet another initiative (and donations) in the future. Eyman seems to follow the same advice that my dad once gave me: “Don’t work yourself out of a job!”

    • Nolan November 27, 2019 (2:27 pm)

      Multiple citations needed. Your baseless claims of conspiracy and corruption are reckless at best, and contribute to the erosion of trust in our entire political system at worst.

      Put up or shut up.

  • AMD November 27, 2019 (1:49 pm)

    If the initiative was JUST about car tabs (like proponents said it was and voters thought it was) there wouldn’t be a question of constitutionality.  But Eyman threw in a rollback of car rental taxes, removing taxing authority from localities, limiting what voters are allowed to approve in the future, among other things that voters might not have even known they were signing off on.  THAT’S why it’s being challenged.  He’s been told before “one item per initiative” but for some reason didn’t feel the need to follow the rules.  I hope they have a “three strikes” rule for people who can’t follow directions when they file initiatives. 

  • helpermonkey November 27, 2019 (2:30 pm)

    Tim Eyman is a grifter, and anyone who supports his initiatives or his campaign for governor is a person who has no issues supporting his criminal lifestyle. He lacks even a basic understanding of taxes and what they pay for, just spouting the “NO NEW TAXES” bleat of the libertarians who have no clue how society actually functions. He’s only running for governor to line his pockets more with taxpayer monies. I look forward to his utter defeat at the polls and in the legal system. Lock up your office chairs, folks. 

  • Taxtax November 27, 2019 (3:03 pm)

    AMEN helpermonkey. It’s our DUTY to pay taxes.  If the government say’s we need to pay higher property taxes, or put’s a surcharge on rent’s i know you’d be the first to say “i’m happy to pay whatever they tell us to pay” It’s the duty of all of us to not complain but to happily pay whatever we’re told to! We do NOT have the right to lower taxes.

  • Rick November 27, 2019 (3:20 pm)

    I’ll trade you a I-976 for a I-1639. Oh wait,did I vote “wrong” again? It’s only unconstitutional when the powers that be want it to be.  And don’t get me started on about Ferguson (either/both criminal).

  • No one wins... November 27, 2019 (3:54 pm)

    For everyone spiking the ball here, this project is nowhere close to fully bonded. Despite the ruling today, this will go all the way to the  state Supreme Court. It will end of up with major shortfalls as any bonding is highly unlikely while it is being prosecuted. The City of Seattle just released a $6 Billion budget. Are they really crying poor over this initiative? It’s unbelievable how corrupt this process is. 

    • j November 27, 2019 (11:05 pm)


  • S - in West Seattle November 27, 2019 (4:12 pm)

    It’s kind of funny that they said that not all the information was provided. Kind of like the fact the told us we would only be tax so much, but used a outdated tax amount on our vehicles. I didn’t see the government jumping up to started a lawsuit over the fact we were taxed more then we should.

  • Heartless? November 27, 2019 (5:33 pm)

     Couldn’t we double the fares for transit as a start?

    • heartless November 27, 2019 (7:11 pm)

      Couldn’t we double gas taxes as a start?

    • The King November 27, 2019 (10:42 pm)

      Doubling bus fares would be a start, Metro is 77% subsidized so just to come close on a break even deal a one way trip with no transfer would be over $11. I guess if busing is really helping everyone should pay about $12 or $13 for a seat. 

      • heartless November 28, 2019 (8:50 am)

        Doubling gas prices would be a start, gasoline is subsidized by tens of billions of dollars (conservatively).  I guess if you really need gasoline everyone should pay about $6 or $7 dollars for a gallon.

  • West Seattle Guy November 27, 2019 (5:53 pm)

    The initiative should have stated that they use the Kelley blue book value. Inflated values -> excessively high car tab fees is what I think most people have a problem with. If that means they have a budget shortfall and need to collect taxes for some projects via other means that can be the next problem that gets tackled. 

  • Crazies November 27, 2019 (6:07 pm)

    I would like one of you to prove how this bill is unconstitutional. Regardless of how you feel about it the people have voted. Probably the same people he keep voting ultra liberal city council. 

    • heartless November 27, 2019 (7:17 pm)

      I would like one of you to prove how this bill is unconstitutional.”

      Take a step back, think for a minute, and ask yourself this question: what do you think the lawsuit (yep, the one linked above, in the article you didn’t read) is doing.

      Why on earth do you want random people commenting on a blog to do it when dozens of trained lawyers are already doing what you asked?

        “ Regardless of how you feel about it the people have voted.”

      What we have here is a failure of understanding.  Do you really not understand that the constitution overrides how people vote?  I mean…  That’s a really basic, really embarrassing failure on your part.

    • Not proof... November 27, 2019 (7:42 pm)

      The unconstitutional stance says that they are burying the perceived negatives in the initiative behind the $30 car tabs. I don’t think they actually did that. It was pretty obvious what was going to be cut, but Eyman’s initiatives have been really bad about this in the past.

      What’s interesting is that Seattle is banging this drum while stating that people in Seattle overwhelmingly voted no. The reality is the plaintiffs are looking for a quick summary judgement and the “pause” along with the judge’s written opinion will likely help them. I’m just answering your question on how I think they will prosecute the suit.

      I don’t necessarily agree that the initiative is unconstitutional. Also, for those who are saying that constitutions offset elections. The US Constitution has been amended many times to the will of the people. You really need to decide if you want to live in a Democracy or a Constitutional Republic. The latter isn’t really something I’d want to live in. 

      • AMD November 27, 2019 (9:48 pm)

        It violates the logrolling rule, just like the last one.  If it was just the tabs, negative cuts or not, the initiative would be in bounds.  Eyman was warned not to logroll like he did last time.  Maybe he should have put his effort into a constitutional amendment before the initiative.  Or, I dunno, he could have just followed the rules that have been explained to him thoroughly because he’s done this before.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  He’s not going to get different results; it’s still unconstitutional.

        • j November 27, 2019 (11:11 pm)

          …and this

        • j November 27, 2019 (11:12 pm)

          …and also this

  • Mj November 27, 2019 (6:15 pm)

    It seems a reasoned answer is to fix the car valuation issue, leave voter approved fees in place and remove all fees not approved by voters.

  • Greg November 28, 2019 (7:54 am)

    Another option might be to charge $1000 to anyone with Texas plates who has lived here more than three months. 

  • Graciano November 28, 2019 (9:22 am)

    Did any of the voters actually read the ballet, or just believe the TV commercials?ST3 would still be funded, but at actual car value.Metro would still get money from the voter approved levy.The TBD would lose funding.The State would lose the weight fee, which was mis-calculated as ST3.They charged you the weight times 1.5, then rounded it up to the next even number in thousands.example  pick up truck 4400lb vehicle x 1.5 = 6600lbs then round it up to 8000lbs.

  • flimflam November 28, 2019 (10:21 am)

    Nobody seems to have a good explanation of why the inflated valuation system is ok – that is really the crux of the issue when you get down to it. Maybe $30 is too low but to admitedly use a BS valuation system is inexcusable and clearly the reason it was so easy for people to vote “yes”. There is no reason for us to accept overvalued car tabs…

Sorry, comment time is over.