Politicians question legitimacy of 2016 vote for Sound Transit funding

RELATED TOPICS: WEST | TRANSIT | PASSENGER | FINANCING
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SEATTLE — Washington State lawmakers are investigating Sound Transit’s November 2016 ST3 ballot measure after two Republican state senators questioned whether the agency misguided the legislature with its $54 billion transit package, the News Tribune reports.

The two Republican senators who requested the hearings say they want to figure out if the agency alluded to the size of the transit package approved by voters this past November. The senators also allege a state law allowing the agency to place the tax measure on this past November’s ballot was unconstitutionally drafted.

Some lawmakers believed they were approving a measure generating $15 billion in revenues during the next 25 years, but voters ultimately approved a $28 billion tax package. The package provides the agency with revenues from increased property taxes, sales taxes, and motor vehicle fees across its three-county tax district.

Voters in King and Snohomish counties approved the package, while Pierce County voters rejected the measure.

The tax money is being used to build 62-miles of new light rail lines and expand capacity on the Sounder commuter rail service with extended station platforms and longer passenger trains.

Sound Transit’ legal experts say the claims of deception have no validity and agency CEO Peter Rogoff denied the senators’ allegations during a recent memo to board members.

A state Senate panel held its first hearing this week before the Washington Senate's Law and Justice Committee, while a second hearing is planned Oct. 5.

See the original story online.

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