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I-976: Seattle, King County will sue to block $30 car tab measure

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SEATTLE -- Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says the city will file a lawsuit to block the $30 car tab initiative passed by Washington voters in Tuesday's general election.

Durkan said Thursday that if fully implemented, Initiative 976 would force the city to cut more than 100,000 bus hours and would hamper her program to provide free bus access for students and low-income residents.

She also emphasized that voters in King County, which is home to Seattle, voted against the measure sponsored by Tim Eyman.

City Attorney Pete Holmes says the initiative has "fairly obvious legal problems" and says the city will file a joint complaint with King County and ask that the initiative be put on hold.

Eyman says Seattle and King County are defying the will of the voters.

"We don't trust you, and so you better regain our trust, and regaining our trust probably starts with, maybe you shouldn't sue the voters that just said yes to the initiative," Eyman said Tuesday after the first round of vote tallies showed likely passage of I-976. "Maybe you should accept the policy prescription that the voters just voted for."

The measure repeals car tab taxes and fees, leaving governments without planned funding for road paving and other projects.

Just a day earlier, King County Executive Dow Constantine said he asked the Prosecuting Attorney's Office to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of I-976.

“The passage of I-976 underscores the ongoing need for comprehensive state tax reform, but in the short term we must clean up another mess that Tim Eyman has created for our state, our region, and our economy. There will be many discussions in the weeks and months ahead to determine how to overcome the loss of safety and mobility caused by this irresponsible initiative, but the impact of I-976 to transportation is – in a word – devastating,” Constantine said.

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