The battle over high car tabs that came with the $54 billion light rail expansion in the Seattle area — known as ST3 — heads to the state Supreme Court Tuesday afternoon.
More than a half dozen taxpayers in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties are behind the lawsuit which centers on the final ST3 package that the state Legislature gave Sound Transit the OK to send to voters in 2015. Arguments are set to begin at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The issue is that the Legislature and Sound Transit amended existing law in that bill by using an outdated vehicle valuation system. That outdated system greatly inflated vehicle values, which resulted in more costly car tabs
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While they are within their right to make that change, Joel Ard the lawyer for the taxpayers, says that officials are not allowed to enact the change they way it did. It literally has to spell out the law its changing; voters have to know what the change is.
“Our constitution requires that they set the forth the amendment in full length, and they didn’t to that,” Ard said.
Ard says that the state’s code already had a method of vehicle valuation written into it. The taxpayers argue that that final ST3 package referenced the amended valuation system by simply including the RCW number. It did not actually spell out what was changing — a switch to higher car tab fees.
“The constitution specifically says you cannot amend an existing statute

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