December 4th, 2019
This afternoon, the Washington State Supreme Court upheld King County Superior Court Judge Marshall Ferguson’s ruling that Tim Eyman’s I-976 shall be barred from being implemented until its constitutionality (or lack thereof) can be determined.
I-976 is Eyman’s most recent measure, which seeks to wipe out billions of dollars in bipartisan, voter-approved transportation investments.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office had filed an emergency appeal seeking to have the injunction overturned. The Supreme Court has denied that motion.
Northwest Progressive Institute founder and Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve thanked the Supreme Court for sustaining the injunction.
“Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision today, Tim Eyman’s scheme to destroy multimodal transportation infrastructure in the State of Washington will not go into effect on December 5th,” said Villeneuve.
“Instead, we Washingtonians will continue to pool our resources to ensure that we can build and maintain the roads, railways, bus routes, sidewalks, and bike paths that our communities need. Revenue from vehicle fees Eyman wants to repeal will either be held in escrow pending the Supreme Court’s final verdict on I-976, or provided to local governments like the City of Seattle and King County, which are plaintiffs in this case.”
In recent days, Tim Eyman has repeatedly issued exhortations calling upon Washingtonians to join him in breaking the law and not paying their vehicle fees.
These exhortations are irresponsible and do not deserve to be given airtime, ink, or pixels.
“As citizens, we have a mutual responsibility to each other to pay our dues to our state and country,” said Villeneuve. “It is patriotic to be a taxpayer and pay one’s dues.”
“If there were no taxes, there would be no public services, and if there were no public services, there would be no Washington State and no United States of America. It is what we do together as a people for each other that makes us strong. None of us can afford to repair a bridge or run a bus route with a vehicle fee refund. But together, we can empower our neighbors like Michael Rogers, a plaintiff in the I-976 case, to get where they want to go, even if they cannot drive or do not wish to drive.”
“Tim Eyman has framed I-976 as being about car tabs, but in reality, I-976 is an assault on freedom of mobility, and should be characterized as such in stories about the measure. As Eyman has admitted when speaking to friendly audiences, his objective with I-976 is to wipe out funding for transportation modes other than auto travel, because he doesn’t believe in them. Gas taxes have also been increased in recent years, but Eyman didn’t target those with I-976, because gas tax revenues are required by the Constitution to be used for highway purposes… the one transportation mode that Eyman supports.”
“‘Thirty dollar tabs’ is a marketing slogan… a dishonest slogan. As Eyman has admitted, even if I-976 goes into effect, no one in Washington will pay thirty dollars to renew their vehicle’s registration, because the initiative doesn’t actually cap fees at thirty dollars. That’s not a problem for Eyman, because the truth is irrelevant to him. As long as multimodal transportation infrastructure gets defunded, Eyman will have achieved his aim.”
“Right now, that’s not happening due to the injunction against I-976. Today’s decision may be bad news for Eyman, but it’s good news for Washington communities.”