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Tim Eyman, $30 car tabs, I-976
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Washington State Supreme Court upholds pause on $30 car tabs

Tim Eyman attempting to argue his case in favor of I-976 in court in November. (Hanna Scott, KIRO Radio)

In a ruling published late Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Washington State upheld an injunction against a controversial $30 car tabs measure.

State AG files motion in bid to enact $30 car tab measure

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson had filed an emergency petition with the court Monday, asking that it stay an injunction against I-976, recently granted by a King County judge.

The ruling was a short one, simply stating that by a simply majority, the state’s highest court would uphold the injunction. A dissenting opinion was penned by three other justices who disagreed.

“We believe a stay is justified because the State has demonstrated that the issues presented are debatable, and that the harms it will suffer absent a stay outweigh the financial injuries I-976’s challengers will face with a stay,” the dissenting opinion reads.

Now, the $30 car tabs measure will be on hold while a lawsuit filed by King County, Seattle, and other transit-oriented groups plays out in court.

WA Attorney General’s office says Seattle can withstand I-976 passing

Those groups have claimed that the $30 car tabs initiative will do “irreparable” harm to the state’s transportation budget. Ferguson countered that claim in his motion Monday, citing a handful of other potential revenue sources.

In granting the injunction in November, King County Superior Court Judge Marshall Ferguson ultimately decided that Seattle and King County “are likely to prevail on the merits of their constitutional challenge to I-976,” specifically on the idea that the measure was misleading to voters in its scope.

Ferguson countered that idea in his motion to stay the injunction Monday.

“Local governments in Washington have several revenue sources available to fund transportation, from a range of taxes to state and federal grants,” he noted.

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