Washington Supreme Court Rules Eyman's $30 Car Tab Initiative Unconstitutional

Comments

1

He's not going away. People like that have no dignity or shame. He just wants to keep grifting those shitty $80 haircuts which sadly aren't preventing his hair loss.

2

@1 Yes he will. Prediction: Eyeman will either be in jail or sued out of existence before the decade is out.

3

Wait a minute. This is 2020. I thought we weren't allowed to have any good news.

I'm surprised the state Supreme Court overturned this latest Eyman debacle. Maybe I shouldn't be. I guess we should just be thankful Amy Coney Barrett isn't joining the Washington State Supreme Court.

Or maybe I'm surprised because, even if this is a victory, it's a bittersweet victory. Tim Eyman has demonstrated yet again that, in a low-turnout, odd-year election, he can still get a majority of voters to put chaos over the common good. And we all know he'll be back. His minions will be back. And they'll be back to parroting the same Orwellian tripe that this most progressive of taxes is actually regressive.

4

@2: "Eyeman will either be in jail or sued out of existence before the decade is out."

I predict he'll get the chair.

5

@4 FTW! Timmy doesn't really care about losing this one, BTW. It means he can run the same scam again next time after even more faux-outrage about how those mean activist judges defied he will of the people. If it had been upheld, what would he have used to scam up his next million in diverted campaign contributions?

6

He's been a thorn to our sides in 1998. He needs to realize that his time has passed and he needs to move on to something else. I'm surprised he didn't try to be the spokesperson for Vern Funk. He'd make a killing..

7

It'll pass again, without Eyman. Only a matter of time.

8

@4 Well played.

9

@7 And it will be rejected by the courts again. Because it's fucking stupid as fuck.

10

Ah well. I was going to replace my gas-guzzling, smoke belching stink bomb with a nice, clean EV. But I guess I can keep it on the road for a few more years until a $30 initiative finally passes.

Wave at me the next time I pass you on your bicycle.

11

The problem with the car tab thing is Sound Transit. They are a godzilla sized money sucking pit of kickbacks. Mass transit....Stupid, unless you are packed in like sardines. Works in some places, others, not so much. We don't have the population density. But sure, If you want to give mass transit to Microsoft and Amazon in Bellevue go ahead, you idiots.

12

How is it that the State A.G. and the Secretary of State approve an initiative only to have the court strike it down as not Constitutional?

Are the State A.G. and Secretary incompetent?

Anyone?

13

You'd think that, with a pandemic and a depression and with climate change bearing down upon us, people would have grown the fuck up by now. Checking out @10's comment, I think not.

@11, so if you live in the Sound Transit taxing district, then vote against it the next time around. And if you don't live in the Sound Transit taxing district, then it's not really your problem, anyway, is it? Or are you of the view that, if some innocent taxpayer is suffering under the burden of being taxed for mass transit somewhere, then hey, no one is free anywhere?

14

Sargon @12, my recollection is that the AG and Secretary of State are loathe to preemptively invalidate an initiative for fear of being accused of squelching democracy and because they have the backup option of letting it play out afterwards in the courts. Kinda like in soccer, now that you have the VAR replay system, the assistant refs are afraid to call offside.

But you do have a bit of a valid point in your question, in that these things are somewhat arbitrary. You have to wonder if Eyman is getting his initiatives validated beforehand to make sure they'll hold up in court--or to make sure they WON'T hold up in court.

15

11: except for the fact that, for people looking for work Sound Transit and Metro are often the only way they can get to job interviews or get to whatever jobs they might find on time, given that those jobs are often across town from where people actually live.

Do we really want to lower ourselves to what Tim dreams of- even more car culture, even worse pollution, and ultimately 5$ bus fares or more? Who, other than the wealthy, benefits from that?

16

And can somebody tell me why Tim is so fixated the car tabs being $30? Why is he so bound and determined to have the tabs at that specific price?

17

@11 Ah. The aptly named Death Cult makes his predictable trolling appearance.

Here's some fun facts:

Population density of Seattle Washington: 7,962 people per square mile.

Population density of Dubai: Only 860.49 persons per square kilometer. 8th highest rated mass transit system on earth.

Population density of Zurich: 2800 residents per square mile. 10th highest rated mass transit system on earth.

Population density of Prague: 4,600 residents per square mile. 12th highest rated mass transit system on earth.

Population density of Berlin: 10,594 people per square mile. 15 highest rated mass transit system on earth.

https://www.farandwide.com/s/public-transit-systems-ranked-c5d839d8a48d4da3

18

Population density of Sydney Australia: 1,100 residents per square mile.

"Transport in Sydney is provided by an extensive network of public transport operating modes including suburban rail, light rail, buses, metro and ferries, as well as an expansive network of roadways, cycleways and airports. According to the 2006 census, in terms of travel to work or study Sydney has the highest rate of public transport usage among the Australian capital cities of 26.3% with more than 80% of weekday trips to/from Central Sydney being made by public transport.[1] According to the New South Wales State Plan, the state has Australia's largest public transport system."

19

Tim should get a clue, nobody likes him.

20

Fuck off forever, Tim.

21

The inevitable follow up initiative could be defused if Sound Transit would do the right thing and start charging people based on the true value of their vehicle instead of the bullshit schedule they use today. I know a lot of people who voted for this as a protest against the overinflated car values. It erodes the credibility of the court that they rule ST3 was legal and the voters knew what they were voting for even though it was proved that the legislature was confused but somehow this was misleading. There will be blowback for this ruling. It's up to the legislature and Sound Transit to do the right thing before something worse comes along.

22

@12, @14:

"How is it that the State A.G. and the Secretary of State approve an initiative only to have the court strike it down as not Constitutional?"

Constitutionality of a law is a question for the courts; the opinions of the A.G. and Secretary of State have no legal bearing on whether a law is constitutional or not, and an Initiative, once enacted, is a state law. The A.G. is legally obligated to defend the state's laws in court. The Secretary of State's job is to administer the Initiative process, not decide if any proposed Initiative is constitutional or not. So, they can honestly believe that a proposed Initiative is a worthless piece of garbage, but they still have to perform their roles.

"...or to make sure they WON'T hold up in court."

He knows it. That's the key to his working this same old, tired grift for so many years.

@16: "And can somebody tell me why Tim is so fixated the car tabs being $30? Why is he so bound and determined to have the tabs at that specific price?"

It's a key part of his marketing for his grift. Everyone instantly recognizes it.

23

tensor, I'll take your answer @22 over my answer @14.

And always nice to see your presence on these threads.

24

@21: The inevitable follow-up Initiative can be defused only if Eyman stops grifting. That has nothing to do with Sound Transit's vehicle valuation system -- which, despite your claim, was fully explained before we voted on ST3 -- and everything to do with Eyman being a liar, thief, and grifter. The only way to stop Eyman being a grifter is to have the state win our lawsuit against him, then use the evidence proven in court to prosecute him to the fullest extent of all applicable laws. He'll still have housing at taxpayer expense, but at least we won't have to endure any more of his abuse of our Initiative process for his personal grifting.

25

@4 cressona for the hands down WIN! Well played! :)

26

Dealthcult has it right. If you do the math on the sound transit plan, they are literally spending roughly $250,000 per additional new rider. And yes, another gift to Amazon/Microsoft that everyone here usually fucking hates. Also, they literally doubled the cost of car tabs for most people. Regressive as fuck.

27

@11: Quit snorting hydroxychlloroquine just because Trumpty Dumpty said so.

28

@26 Close your mouth, salt petey, before you draw flies.

29

@26. No. Deathcult is not right.

He made absurd and laughable claims about “population density” which has fuck all to with the viability of mass transit in Seattle.

The problem is the region absolutely needs mass transit. This just god damned reality. Relying on roads and cars for commuting no longer works moving forward.

People repeatedly say they want mass transit. Demand is always high where ever it’s in place. But nobody wants to pay for it. The corporations whose workers use it demand it but spend millions lobbying against paying for it. Because Americans are feckless entitled children with no sense of community or responsibility.

And that’s why you end up with dumb schemes like paying for it through car tabs.

But mass transit dysfunction has nothing what so ever to do with either lack of need, demand or population density.

30

@21 - it doesn't realy matter what the absolute numbers in the vehicle valuation table are. What matters is the relative numbers, which determines what everyone's share of the total cost that needs to be raised is. The rate per thousand $$ of car value would be adjusted based on the total valuation of all the vehicles being taxed.

In other words, Sound Transit's system would not be more expensive if we all drove Bentleys or cheaper if we all drove Pintos. The rate per thousand of car value would be lower in the Bentley case and higher in the Pinto scenario, but the total amount raised would need to be the same. And would you have a problem if they did use KBB to determine values?

31

A number of observations.

First, building more car infrastructure, or SUV infrastructure, is bad. Gas revenues will be plummeting quickly, as EVs come online. And as electric bikes and scooters eat into even that revenue, as people downshift.

Second, the anti-tax activists will keep doing fake initiatives that are unconstitutional. Because their world is going bye bye.

Third, the dying TV and radio industries will keep propping them up, in their desperate search for ad revenue for people wasting money on big ticket cars trucks and SUVs, until they go the way of print media. Meanwhile streaming will keep eating them alive.

32

@24 you're losing sight of the big picture and killing the messenger. Eyman is not forcing all those people to vote for his initiatives or conning them. He's not that smart. If you think putting Eyman in jail will end this you are going to be disappointed.

@30 fair point on the total valuation but that is not how it was written and sold to voters and you are assuming it is a static number. The fact there was such a large public outcry when the first bills came due is all you need to know to determine most people either didn't understand or weren't paying attention to the valuation schedule. If ST had been honest then they probably would have had to scale back their project list as the total valuation would be less or they would have to collect the tax for a greater amount of time. As it is now the perception is this was a bait and switch on their part and that is not going to go away.

We can debate nuances and semantics but ST and the legislature have a PR problem and if it's not Eyman then someone else will come along and put this to another vote.

33

@12,14 & 22 - The AG doesn't give legal advice to sponsors, and drafted several versions to pick from. If you read pages 4 and 5 of the 36 page opinion you see the following:

"In 2018, initiative sponsors filed at least 13 initiatives concerning motor
vehicle taxes. The attorney general drafted ballot titles for at least 9 of them.
After receiving these ballot titles, the sponsors chose to proceed with I-976 and a
ballot title that read:

Initiative Measure No. 976 concerns motor vehicle taxes and fees.
This measure would repeal, reduce, or remove authority to impose certain
vehicle taxes and fees; limit annual motor-vehicle-license fees to $30, except
voter-approved charges; and base vehicle taxes on Kelley Blue Book value.
Should this measure be enacted into law?
Yes [ ]
No [ ]

Clerk’s Papers (CP) at 1131, 316, 1253. The ballot title appears to have been
drawn from the “policies and purposes” section of I-976, which reads in relevant
part:

This measure and each of its provisions limit state and local taxes, fees, and
other charges relating to motor vehicles. This measure would limit annual
motor vehicle license fees to $30, except voter-approved charges, repeal and
remove authority to impose certain vehicle taxes and charges; and base
vehicle taxes on Kelley Blue Book.
CP at 1212."

34

(Not sure why the formatting when weird there @33...)

35

I-1639 is looking mighty shaky today, what with its five or so subjects. We'll see if anyone chooses to challenge it in state court now.

36

The $30 number is from decades ago when this started and tabs were $30 flat in Oregon. The Oregon fee was used as a symbolic basis and not determined by need of the funding. IIRC Oregon is $60 or so a year these day. A lot changes in 25-30 years.

37

@32 - If continuing rage over ST misrepresentation encourages anyone to start a new initiative, they should keep in mind the wise words of The Old Soundman @36 on the historical aspect of the magical number used in the past and really ask themselves: "What is the purpose of car tabs and what is a current, reasonable amount to pay?" Cars have a huge impact on transportation, even if some feel vehicle owners are paying more than their fair share.

38

@37 I think Voters have shown again and again a willingness to tax themselves to pay for things that benefit the community. They get pissed when pols treat them like atms and take them for granted.

39

@38 "I think Voters have shown again and again a willingness to tax themselves"

I don't think they limited the vote on this measure to only those people who drive cars.

40

@39, and yet I'm sure you're perfectly fine with the vast majority of Americans who don't have to serve having a say in whether we go to war.

One of the peculiar distortions of perception among Americans post-maybe-WWII is that we tend to have a sharpened sense of injustice and grievance only when it applies to us and our sub-group.

41

Good!

42

@32, @39: Voters in the ST3 region enacted the new car-tab tax. We did it in full knowledge of what the valuations would be. Thank you for admitting the intent and appeal of Eyman's most recent failure was a do-over on the ST3 vote you lost. If Eyman had been honest (ha, ha, ha) about that, it might have survived the court challenge. But he lied, as usual.

Eyman is an admitted thief, a proven liar, and a grifter who scams his victims by appealing to their greedy, cheap, and short-sighted desires for government services without taxes. In a very nice irony, not only do they lose all of the money they give him, but the tax money they have to pay anyway gets wasted on court cases. Maybe someday they'll learn, but it's been twenty-plus years and they've still got nothing to show.

He's had his Initiatives rejected by the courts enough times to know they are bogus.

43

Well then, never mind what the voters of The STATE OF WASHINGTON voted for because it's the new Democracy that must be cleansed first though King County. Even the notion that Voters were confused what they were Voting for is beyond absurd.

Don't forget! Your Votes counts!

44

@42 “we did it with full knowledge of what the valuations would be”....if that was true there wouldn’t have been such a huge backlash when the first bills were sent out and this initiative would have been DOA.

45

@4
The Stranger comments usually make me laugh, but for different reasons. You got the real deal from me.

46

@44: ST3 passed in the funding district. I-976 failed in the same places. So no, the voters who passed ST3 were not in favor of I-976. The "huge backlash" was just the usual noisy anti-tax crowd, bitter they had lost again.

1-976 was therefore a dishonest way to do-over the ST3 vote you lost, but with voters statewide, many of whom would not even have paid the ST3 taxes. Why should they get a say, when we voters who will be taxed had already approved? How is that fair?

Eyman can always get an Initiative on the ballot, because there are enough something-for-nothing voters statewide to fall for his scam, old and tired that it is. The exact details of this time's something-for-nothing grift don't matter.

47

@22, @36:

Thank you for the explanations.

48

@46 is exactly right. Why on Earth should voters OUTSIDE the ST3 taxing district have any say over whether we INSIDE it (who voted for the taxes) can do so? Maybe they'd be happier if we got the Legislature to pay for it using a statewide tax, so they can join in the fun?

And don't underestimate the cheap appeal of a nice round $30 number. That was used to great advantage in the California campaign to kick out Grey Davis and install the Governator.

49

@23: Thank you for the kind words, cressona. They mean extra much coming from you -- especially after you hit that grand slam @4!