Initiative 776 | Overview and Impact

Central Link light rail train

A Central Link light rail train just north of the Mount Baker Station. Initiative 776 unsuccessfully attempted to prevent Central Link from being built. (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Summary: Permanent Defense fought this initiative in partnership with a coalition of organizations, including the NO ON I-776 Campaign. I-776 sought to destroy Sound Transit’s Central Link light rail project by wiping out one of the agency’s two funding sources, local vehicle fees. It also repealed vehicle fees collected in four of Washington’s thirty nine counties (King, Snohomish, Pierce, Douglas).

Before Voters In: November of 2002

Ballot Outcome: Measure passed.
YES:    901,478 51.47%
NO:    849,986 48.53%

Fate: The initiative’s attempt to knock down Sound Transit failed because of a bond issue- voters can’t repeal taxes pledged to pay off debts- so Sound Transit kept its tax. Pierce and King Counties, Sound Transit, the City of Tacoma, individual taxpayers, and environmental organizations sued to stop Initiative 776 and wipe the whole thing out. The lawsuit was eventually unsuccessful.

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