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Seattle City Council rejects Tim Eyman’s $30 car-tab Initiative 976 to his face

Seattle city councilors unanimously rejected Initiative 976 Monday during a meeting where Tim Eyman sat in the audience. The initiative seeks to reduce car-tabs.

SEATTLE — Seattle city councilors unanimously passed a resolution rejecting Tim Eyman's Initiative 976 and called on voters to vote no on the initiative, which seeks to return the state to $30 car tabs, come November. 

It all happened as Eyman was sitting in the council chambers during Monday's meeting. 

“I would like to go on the record saying I-976 is malarkey,” said councilmember Abel Pacheco. 

“Vote no on Tim Eyman’s Initiative 976,” added councilmember Kshama Sawant.

Eyman waited nearly two hours to speak his case after the councilors vote.

RELATED: Associates of Tim Eyman ordered to pay $1 million for campaign kickbacks

"This is a government resolution telling voters how to vote on a citizen initiative, it is an arrogant improper use of taxpayer money,” Eyman bellowed in council chambers, as opponents waved their ‘NO’ signs behind him. “There is a poll out that shows this is passing 70% across the state, and leading in Seattle 52-48," he finished.

Eyman got enough signatures earlier this year to get I-976 on the November ballot. 

Since then, several local leaders including Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and King County Executive Dow Constantine have come out against I-976, saying capping car tabs at $30 would be "catastrophic" for the region's transportation projects. 

RELATED: King County leaders: $30 car tabs would be 'catastrophic' for transit projects

Voters approved the $30 car-tab cap in 1999 and 2002. The Sound Transit 3 (ST3) measure approved by voters in 2016 raised the annual fees to pay for public transportation projects.

A lot of drivers felt car-tab sticker shock after the passage of ST3 when their fees doubled, or in some cases tripled.

Eyman said voters were not aware of how high their car-tab fees would go up under the proposal.

If I-976 were approved, Sound Transit estimates it would eliminate $6.95 billion in anticipated revenue through 2041 and limit the amount of funding available through bonds. 

RELATED: Everett council opposes initiative that would cap car-tab fees at $30

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