WA Attorney General’s office says Seattle can withstand I-976 passing
Between numerous speeches and lawsuits, the general sentiment coming from Seattle and state officials is that the sky will fall as a result of $30 car tab fee I-976 passing. Despite those prognostications, voters who supported it don’t quite buy the claims, and now they have a pretty big voice that seems to agree.
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office said in a court filing that Seattle officials and other opponents have not proven that its passing will create immediate, devastating harm, reports The Seattle Times.
Voters approved I-976 with 53 percent in favor across Washington state. The Washington State Office of Financial Management estimates that the adoption of I-976 would slash $1.9 billion in state revenue over the next six years, as well as $2.3 billion in local governments in that same period. That includes a $35 million funding gap in Seattle’s own budget.
Just over a week after Election Day, the city of Seattle and King County, among others, filed a lawsuit over I-976, arguing that the initiative violates the state’s Constitution.
But in the court filing, the AG office argues that the effects wouldn’t be felt until at least March, and that aspects of funding would offset the impact, including the $140 million sale of the Mercer Mega Block, and Washington State Convention Center expansion public benefits, not to mention the rapidly growing transportation budget.
It also says that plaintiffs cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that I-976 is unconstitutional, based on the initiative previously passing in similar forms in the past, and which held up in Washington state Supreme Court. Essentially, the claim from opposing groups that I-976 will cause “immediate, devastating and irreparable impacts statewide” is simply not true according to the Attorney General’s Office.
On the heels of I-976 passing, and based on his frustration with what he believes is Seattle’s dominance over state politics, Tim Eyman recently announced he will be running for governor.