Yet another blow to Sound Transit’s scheme for fleecing taxpayers out of $54 billion hit the troubled agency today, with the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce voting to oppose voting to oppose the so-called ST3 package on this November’s ballot. The region’s most pro-business chamber – as opposed to others which cater more to their government agency members – explained its opposition in a press release:
“The chamber sees the value of additional light rail investments to high-density destinations, such as the emerging Spring District (in Bellevue), Overlake and downtown Redmond, all of which can be accomplished in the short term. However, we have less confidence in the projected costs and benefits of those light rail projects scheduled for completion after 2030.”
The first defection by a major regional organization from the hallelujah chorus praising the expensive light-rail expansion comes on the heels of a leading Democrat State Senator questioning Sound Transit’s financing plan, a pair of stories on campaign watchdog complaints against the agency for illegal use of public funds here and here, and a detailed story about how the special interests contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaign to pass ST3 are those that will benefit from the public money.
Also pushing the Bellevue Chamber over the edge was the sheer cost of the measure. The Puget Sound Business Journal report highlighted the details of Bellevue City Councilman Kevin Wallace’s tax argument, pointing out, “Sound Transit says the ST3 package would cost the typical adult $169 a year. This is on top of the $158 a year the same individual pays now. By Wallace’s estimation, which takes into account Bellevue’s median income and home value, the typical Bellevue household today pays $687 a year for Sound Transit 2 and would pay another $1,048 a year if ST3 passes.”
Perhaps the steady drip-drip-drip of opposition to the biggest tax increase in state history will turn into a major flood by election day.