SEATTLE - On Wednesday, Dec. 4, a King County Superior Court judge will consider a motion by Pierce and King counties and others to halt the implementation of I-776 in those counties. The counties have asked for the injunction while the court considers the merits of their lawsuit seeking to have the initiative declared unconstitutional.
Superior Court Judge Mary Yu will hear the motion for a preliminary injunction at 9 a.m. in Room W-928.
The Attorney General's Office, whose duties include defense of laws passed by the Legislature or by voters through the initiative process, opposes the motion, contending that there is no basis for the plaintiffs' constitutional objections to the initiative. If the counties' motion is granted, the state would be required to continue collecting a $15 motor-vehicle license fee in Pierce and King Counties after Dec. 5, the date the initiative is scheduled to take effect.
On Nov. 27, Pierce County, the City of Tacoma and three citizens filed suit seeking to have I-776 declared unconstitutional. King County joined the suit Tuesday.
Sound Transit, which uses motor-vehicle excise taxes to pay off bonds issued in 1999, is not a party in the lawsuit. The state Department of Licensing has said it will continue to collect the taxes on behalf of Sound Transit so long as bonds are outstanding, unless a court order directs otherwise.