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News >  Washington

Judge allows Eyman to join car-tab initiative legal case

UPDATED: Fri., Dec. 13, 2019

Associated Press

SEATTLE – A King County judge will allow Tim Eyman to join the lawsuit over his $30 car tab initiative, but won’t force the state to hire outside lawyers.

The Seattle Times reports Judge Marshall Ferguson issued written rulings Friday allowing new parties, including Eyman, to join the case but rejecting a request for outside counsel which Eyman claimed would act as “adult supervision” over the state Attorney General’s Office.

Voters across Washington last month approved Initiative 976, which attempts to lower most vehicle registration fees to $30, roll back car-tab taxes that fund Sound Transit and eliminate local car-tab fees. Local and state government agencies use the tax revenues for road and transit projects.

Eyman is the longtime anti-tax initiative sponsor behind this measure. Seattle, King County, the Garfield County Transportation Authority and others have sued and won an injunction temporarily stopping the tax cut from taking effect while the legal case plays out.

As is standard with voter-approved measures, the state Attorney General’s Office is defending I-976. Eyman, who faces a long-running campaign finance lawsuit brought by the Attorney General’s Office, claims the state is botching its defense of the measure.

The judge on Friday also allowed Pierce County to join the case in defense of I-976 and granted a request to intervene from Franklin County Commissioner Clint Didier.

Being an intervenor in the case will allow Eyman and others to make arguments and motions before the judge, but does not necessarily mean the Attorney General’s Office will coordinate with Eyman on the case.

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