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Judge weighs challenge to Tim Eyman's $30 car tab measure

A ruling on the constitutionality of I-976, which capped car tab fees at $30, could come next week.

A King County Superior Court judge who has already temporarily blocked initiative promoter Tim Eyman's latest $30 car tab measure from taking effect says he hopes to rule next week on whether it's constitutional. 

Judge Marshall Ferguson heard arguments Friday on Initiative 976, which voters approved in November. It caps most taxes paid through annual vehicle registration at $30 and largely revokes state and local authority governments to add new taxes and fees. The state’s budget office estimates I-976 would eliminate more than $4 billion in tax revenue by 2025. 

A coalition of cities, King County and Garfield County's transit agency sued, saying it would eviscerate funds they need to pay for transit and road maintenance.

In November, Ferguson blocked the initiative from taking initially effect, citing "substantial concerns" that the initiative's description on the ballot was misleading. 

RELATED: Republican lawmakers introduce bill to cap car tab fees at $30 in Washington

RELATED: Eyman asks Thurston County judge to examine I-976 case

The coalition claims 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. They also called the initiative "a poorly drafted hodge-podge."  

An exclusive KING 5 News poll found 41% of voters surveyed wanted I-976 implemented as passed by the voters. Another 21% wanted the initaitive re-written and re-submitted to the voters. Just 9% of voters polled thought I-976 should be judged to be illegal.

However, nearly half of the 1,103 voters polled acknowledged they weren't familiar with the initiative.