The Seattle Times reports that I-976 has been placed on hold until legal proceedings are concluded.
Judge Marshall Ferguson issued an order halting implementation of Initiative 976, the voter-approved measure to cut car-tab taxes that was set to take effect Dec. 5. The order instructs the state to continue collecting car-tab taxes and distributing that money to the government agencies that use the fees.
From the order:
ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that Plaintiffs’ Motion For a Preliminary
Injunction is GRANTED. It is further
ORDERED, ADJ UDGED, AND DECREED that the effective date of 1-976 is STAYED
pending further order of this Court. While this stay is in effect, Defendant State of Washington,
its of?cials, employees, agents, and all persons in active concert or participation with Defendant, are enjoined from implementing or enforcing 1-976. Defendant shall continue to collect all fees, taxes, and other charges that would be subject to or impacted by 1-976 were it not stayed, and shall distribute those funds to local municipalities and political subdivisions as appropriate pursuant to existing laws, regulations, contracts, obligations, policies, and procedures. Any municipality or political subdivision that accepts such funds while this Order is in effect, including those that are not parties to this lawsuit, do so subject to the likelihood that refunds of overpayments may be required should the State ultimately prevail in this action.
The order makes clear that the plaintiffs had established a reasonable likelihood of prevailing in their challenges to the initiative and that if it were to take effect December 5 they would suffer “actual and substantial injury.”
The Times also reports that the state has detailed which roads and transit projects would be delayed as a result of I-976 passing.
Dozens of road expansions, transit projects and vehicle purchases for agencies like King County Metro will be put on hold for at least six months, according to a list released by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) on Tuesday.
Washington travelers won’t see stopped machinery or half-done construction efforts because the list only includes projects that aren’t yet underway. However, the list could offer an indication of areas lawmakers will look make cuts as they grapple with the initiative in January.
Decisions about long-term delays or cancellations will be up to Gov. Jay Inslee and the state Legislature.
More on the lawsuit here.