SEATTLE – The sponsor of Washington’s voter-approved I-976 is encouraging residents not to pay their car-tab fees after the measure was blocked by a judge Wednesday.
Tim Eyman furiously rebuked the judge’s decision and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson after the injunction was passed.
“Ferguson purposely refused to file a motion for change of venue -- King County is one of the plaintiffs and having a King County judge decide this was an obvious conflict,” he claimed.
The King County judge ruled that the measure’s wording was misleading when voters approved it earlier this month. I-976 will not go into effect December 5 and will be shelved until a court decides its constitutionality.
Eyman, who recently announced a gubernatorial run, says the law was the product of years of frustration over perennially rising fees. The initiative passed by wide margins in most areas besides King County.
If the measure becomes effective, the state is predicted to lose $328 million in yearly revenue. Similar measures in the past also won the popular vote but were thrown out in the court system.
Eyman called reporters to a press conference Wednesday afternoon to encourage initiative supporters to protest.
"Do what I’m doing, I’m not renewing my tabs because it’s just so wrong," he said. "When the voters pass a law and the lawmakers that they elect aren’t willing to respect that decision instead are suing them."
In a statement, Eyman demands Gov. Jay Inslee hold a special session to address the issue and calls on residents to stop paying vehicle tab bills until Inslee responds.
“The odds of getting pulled over -- out of the millions of vehicles on the road -- for expired tabs is slim,” he said. ”Let's clog up traffic courts all across Washington with heroic, patriotic citizens who will tell the court that you are standing up for democracy. Invite me to your hearing and I will stand with you and for you.”
Q13 News reached out to the Washington State Patrol asking how troopers would respond to Eyman's suggestion.
A spokesperson said, "We will continue to enforce the laws as we always have, unless legally directed to do otherwise.”