Seattle, counties ask judge to block $30 car tab measure

SEATTLE -- Lawyers for cities and counties across the state are asking a King County judge to block Tim Eyman’s $30 car tab measure from taking effect, saying it was misleading and violates Washington’s Constitution.

Voters approved Initiative 976 earlier this month. It caps most taxes paid through annual vehicle registration at $30 and largely restricts the authority of state and local governments to add new taxes and fees.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs told King County Superior Court Judge Marshall Ferguson during arguments Tuesday the initiative contained multiple subjects, contrary to the Constitution, and that its ballot title deceptively suggested it would not restrict the ability of local voters to approve taxes to fund local transportation or transit needs, when it does.

The judge said he is concerned the ballot title was misleading. Alan Copsey, a lawyer for the state, disagreed and said voters should have known they needed to read the full initiative to understand its effects.

The judge said he intended to rule by later Tuesday or Wednesday.