SEATTLE — Editor's note: Video originally aired in November 2019
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed an “emergency motion for stay” to reverse an injunction against the Initiative-976 car tab vote.
Essentially what that means is Ferguson wants to stop last week’s ruling that will allow the state to keep collecting money from car tabs.
Ferguson said the injunction is legally flawed and should be reversed.
The emergency motion for stay started when I-976 sponsor Tim Eyman urged Attorney General Ferguson to ask a judge to reconsider an injunction against the initiative before appealing to the State Supreme Court.
“The judge wasn’t given the facts, the arguments, or the defense of I-976 that the voters deserve,” Eyman wrote last week.
Judge Marshall Ferguson granted the temporary injunction last week, citing "substantial concerns" that the initiative's description on the ballot was misleading.
If voter-approved I-976 were to be implemented, then "all Plaintiffs ... would eventually, inevitably be forced to cut a wide array of program and services due to reductions in fee/tax revenue..." Judge Ferguson wrote.
I-976, which voters approved earlier this month, caps car-tab fees at $30. The state’s budget office estimates I-976 would eliminate more than $4 billion in tax revenue by 2025.
"We believe the court is correct in recognizing that I-976 is likely unconstitutional and ruling that the initiative would cause irreparable harm," King County Executive Down Constantine said last week.
A coalition, which includes King County and the City of Seattle, filed an injunction last week, claiming the initiative is unconstitutional because it violates the single-subject rule, which prevents bills from containing more than one subject and mandates that subject should be expressed in the title. A lawsuit also called the initiative "a poorly drafted hodge-podge."
However, in his filing, AG Ferguson argued that I-976's ballot title accurately informed voters of the subject of the measure and that it appropriately notified voters of the scope and purpose of the measure.
On Monday, Eyman told KING 5 he believes Ferguson is under-representing taxpayers in Superior Court and presented a weak case.
The new I-976 measure was supposed to take place on Dec. 5.
On Tuesday, paperwork for an independent lawsuit against King County Superior Court will be filed. That suit, filed by the Franklin County Commissioner on behalf of the taxpayers, aims to hold the AG accountable and aims to get the case into the hands of the Supreme Court.
Read the full filing below: