Defendants in I-976 lawsuit ask judge to lift pause on $30 car tabs
Defendants in a lawsuit against I-976 filed a motion Thursday, asking that a King County judge reconsider parts of his recent ruling and lift an injunction on the $30 car tabs measure.
King County Judge Marshall Ferguson opted to pause I-976 in November while the lawsuit played out. He then ruled partially in favor of defendants earlier in February, striking down parts of the constitutional challenge levied by King County, Seattle, and others, but opting to maintain the injunction while the case awaited further discovery.
Now, defendants are claiming that his February ruling should have allowed the $30 car tab initiative to be implemented while the rest of the lawsuit continues.
Judge Ferguson’s original ruling granting the injunction was on the basis that Seattle and King County were “likely to prevail on the merits of their constitutional challenge to I-976.” One of the justifications now is that lifting the injunction could potentially get in the way of outstanding bonds with the City of Burien.
Defendants argued Thursday that those bonds would not be affected by implementing I-976.
On the other side of the ongoing lawsuit, plaintiffs submitted their own request to the court Thursday, asking that Judge Ferguson rethink aspects of his February ruling that stated I-976 was mostly constitutional.
Plaintiffs cited a separate recent car tabs ruling in the Washington State Supreme Court, that they claim set a higher standard for assessing how I-976 negatively impacts existing laws. They also argued that parts of I-976 violate the state’s “single subject” requirement for bills. Ferguson had ruled in February that it met those guidelines.
A response to these requests from Judge Ferguson will likely arrive sometime in the coming weeks. In the meantime, drivers are still required to pay their car tab rates in full.