Washington Initiative 976 (I-976) is a ballot measure that voters passed November 2019. I-976 reduces the State’s vehicle car-tab fees to $30 and limits funding for State and local highway, transit, and safety improvements. The initiative eliminates the City's vehicle license fee.
Voter-approved I-976 was set to take effect December 5, 2019. King County Superior Court Judge Marshall Ferguson issued an order November 27, 2019, temporarily halting implementation of the initiative. The order instructs the State to continue collecting car-tab taxes and distributing that money to the government agencies that use the fees. The plaintiffs are challenging the initiative on constitutional grounds arguing the ballot title language was misleading. They are also arguing the initiative causes substantial injury to the plaintiffs. It is the City's understanding that if the plaintiffs' challenge fails the State would be instructed to issue refunds to taxpayers.
As a result of the order, the City will presumably continue to receive these funds but will not be allowed to spend the monies until such time as a final disposition is determined. The City's department of Finance & Administrative Services will be taking care to track these funds and to hold the funds aside pending final legal resolution.