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States brief ~ WA Supreme Court hears arguments on legality of motor excise tax

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's states brief, the Washington Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments today on whether the 1.4% motor vehicle excise tax approved by voters in November 2002 for the financing of Seattle's Monorail Project [official website] is illegal. Currently, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels [Mayor's press release] and the city council [Mayor's press release] have dropped support for the monorail, but a proposal for a shorter monorail line will be on the November ballot. Regardless of whether the project is developed or not, the tax will have to be in effect for two and a half years to cover existing debt. Opponents argue the tax is arbitrary because the cars are assessed at a higher value than Kelly Blue Book value. Washington's KOMO-TV has local coverage.

In other state legal news ...

  • A Nebraska court of appeals ruled [PDF text] Tuesday that a 44-year-old woman could not sue for alleged sex abuse that occurred during her attendance at a parochial school in the 1970s because Nebraska's four year statute of limitations for such lawsuits begins to run for minors when they reach 21. The alleged 1970s abuse occurred when the woman was between the ages of ten and twelve. AP has more.

  • Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe [official website] has certified a proposal authorizing gambling and lotteries in the state, and now Representative Charles Ormond [profile] may collect signatures in an attempt to place the proposal on the November 2006 ballot. The proposal would amend the Arkansas state constitution [text] to allow a statewide lottery and gambling in counties that authorize it. More than 80,000 signatures will be required to place the proposal on the ballot. This year the Legislature declined to refer the proposal to the ballot. The Arkansas News Bureau has local coverage.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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