Tim Eyman, $30 car tab sponsor, to make run for governor official

Tim Eyman is expected to make his run for state governor official when he files paperwork in Olympia to have a political action committee for fundraising Monday morning.

He'll then file to run for governor in May.

The move comes as he's being sued by the state for allegedly misusing campaign funds and worries that his $30 car tab initiative could cut funding to projects like the Tacoma light rail expansion.

Eyman declared he's running for governor in 2020 during public comment at Thursday's Sound Transit board meeting.

"For 21 years, I've put initiatives on the ballot and voters voted on them but the people we elect refuse to listen. Therefore, I am running for Governor in 2020, I am running against Jay Inslee, Seattle's current governor.  And I think the voters of this state deserve someone other than a Seattle-supported monstrosity," Eyman told the regional elected officials who make up Sound Transit's board.

Seconds later, the chair cut off Eyman's microphone because he violated rules about campaigning during public comment.

Eyman later told reporters he has not decided whether to run as a Republican or an independent.

The state's Democratic Party released on Friday a strongly worded statement that read in part, "Our state deserves much better than a habitual liar and cheat. Go ahead Eyman, consider that run for Governor of Washington -- Washington Democrats are ready to expose you for who you really are."

Eyman's gubernatorial announcement last Thursday is different from a statement he made earlier this month. When he was outside Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan's response to his $30 car tab initiative, Eyman was asked if he'd run for office.

"I don't run for elective office because I think the voters have bigger influences on their elected officials when they vote on things then when you're just one more snake in the snake pit," Eyman said that day.

Follow this link to read about Eyman's $30 car tab initiative, I-976, which passed in Washington earlier this month.

Eyman's comments came at Sound Transit's first board meeting since the passage of I-976.

The measure guts funding for light rail, as well as for locally-funded projects statewide. Although I-976 passed in most of the state, Sound Transit's preliminary analysis shows it failed in the agency's taxing district, the urbanized areas of King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties where car tab fees are the highest.

There are unanswered questions about the impact on Sound Transit projects, because agency lawyers say the initiative does not repeal Sound Transit's motor vehicle excise tax until $2.3 billion in bonds are repaid and are no longer outstanding.

Without car tab and rental car taxes, Sound Transit says $25 billion in additional taxes would have to be collected through 2061 to deliver the projects voters approved.

Sound Transit is not suing over I-976, but other local governments are, saying it is unconstitutional. A request for a preliminary injunction will be held in King County Superior Court next week.

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