King County Executive (and Sound Transit Chairman) Dow Constantine delivered his annual State of the County speech on Monday. As could be expected, he used the opportunity to proselytize on the religion of light rail, otherwise known as Sound Transit’s latest scam (ST3) to burn through taxpayer dollars.
Constantine’s speech granted insight into what we can expect from the messaging strategy of pro-ST3 advocates during tho fall’s campaign to pass the biggest tax increase in state history. Constantine stated,
“A generation ago, during the Boeing bust, voters rejected the rapid transit portion of Forward Thrust. We’ve been paying the price of that ever since. But today, the state of the county is strong. Strong enough to give our children the choice, the choice to get out of their cars and to get onto a transportation system that serves the needs of the next century.”
In other words, taxpayers have the money so they should fork it over to Sound Transit. After all, according to Constantine, ST3 is “the most important decision our generation will be asked to make.”
Constantine, conveniently, does not mention ST3’s astronomical price tag of $50 billion. That’s $50,000,000,000.00.
Of course, based on Sound Transit’s past performance, you cannot expect that to be the actual price. If this misguided measure passes, by the time all the projects which are promised are delivered, it will undoubtedly cost much more than $50 billion.
But, that’s okay with Sound Transit officials like Constantine, because ST3 contains a certain clause that allows the proposed tax hikes to continue indefinitely. He and other rail-loving liberals will be long gone from office by the time taxpayers realize they’ve been fleeced – again.
So, not only will ST3 cost more than $50 billion, but working families can also expect the unprecedented tax hikes to be permanent.
That means the sales tax will increase by 0.5 percent, the motor vehicle excise tax will increase by 0.8 percent, and the property tax will increase by $0.25 per $1,000 of value.
Considering the permanent weight placed on the shoulders of taxpayers that will continue for generations, ST3 is indeed the most important decision our generation will be asked to make. But, contrary to what Constantine would have people believe, the correct answer is a resounding “no.”